And the highlight of the entire Matsuri....
小金井阿波踊り - Koganei Awa Odori
The Awa Odori is a traditional Japanese dance that is performed in festivals. Dancers are dressed in traditional dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the park.
3 dance troupes performed today. I was very excited to witness my first Awa Odori and took lots of photos!
First troupe - Musashi Minami Ren
This little one is so cute!
The dance is accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments.
Second troupe - Hotaru Ren
2 very handsome little drummer boys!
Third Troupe - Kurenai Ren
Beautiful ladies of Kurenai.
I like their costumes the best! Pink!
After the entrance procession, the 3 troupes went on stage respectively to perform energetic dances.
This would have been a better shot if the guy's eyes were not shut!
A lively elderly man, whom I assumed is the troupes' conductor.
To me, this boy is the star of the show! He kept looking into my camera and posing for me!
So very agile!
I approached my favourite dancer to ask for a photo and he volunteered this pose for me! Look at that shy little smile on his face! So cute!
All the 3 troupes.
The 3 troupes together in the exit procession.
What a wonderful experience! I enjoyed the Awa Odori tremendously! This is what a Matsuri is all about!
More performances were on the way!
I don't know what this performance is called, but it is like some sort of traditional comedy show.
There was a little one!
So that was it, my first Matsuri experience in Japan!
The Koganei local Matsuri is an yearly affair, and I will definitely be back next year!
One last look at the Matsuri before I head home, and I had a stomachache due to over-eating!