The Tokyo Koenji Awa-odori (東京高円寺阿波踊り), held around JR Chuo Line Koenji Station in Tokyo on the last weekend of August, is a huge awa-odori dance festival second only to the Awa-odori dance festival held in Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture, where the dance originated. It is counted as one of the most well-known summer festivals in Tokyo.
Tokyo Koenji Awa-odori
At the Tokyo Koenji Awa-odori, more than a hundred dance teams perform their dances on the street, and the town of Koenji will be extremely crowded with some 1 million visitors, and it could sometimes be pretty hard to find a good place to see the event. The dances takes place along the main streets from 5pm to 8pm on the last Saturday and Sunday of August.
The Tokyo Koenji Awa-odori was started in 1957 as an event dedicated to the Reitaisai, or the Annual Grand Festival, of Koenji Hikwa Shrine [MAP], the sprititual protector of the Koenji district. Though the dance festival is now separated from the shrine, on the same days as the festival is held, the Reitaisai of the shrine is also held, and many traditional-style stalls will be set up in the precincts.