Ladies dressed up and dancing down the street as part of the summer festival parade!

Ladies dressed up and dancing down the street as part of the summer festival parade!

I love the reed hats the ladies in this group were all wearing!

I love the reed hats the ladies in this group were all wearing!

This weeks travel theme is costumes and I immediately thought of the colourful costumes the dancers wore during the Japanese summer festivals. I lived in Higashi-Rinkan, a suburb of Tokyo, Japan for a while and was fortunate enough to be there for their summer festival. Matsuri is the Japanese word for a festival or holiday and draws millions of people each summer.  Japan is the Land of gods and they are the reason cities and towns pulse with festival excitement.

The main road running through this district was closed off for the whole day. A procession of bands and dancers walked down this street all the way up to the small shrine at the end of the road. Each group had on different colourful costumes. 

Their costumes were beautiful and very elegant

Their costumes were beautiful and very elegant

I loved watching the parade of summer festival dancers and musicians

I loved watching the parade of summer festival dancers and musicians

During summer evening I got to experience and enjoy Bon-Odori (dance) happening throughout the whole street. This tradition originated when the farmers thanked the Rice Paddock God for the good summer crop. The Dance movement is simple and repetitive but quite beautiful. I just don’t understand how the woman actually balance or dance on those wooden shoes they wear!

Unfortunately a bit blurry, but don't know how the woman balance on these shoes!

Unfortunately a bit blurry, but don’t know how the woman balance on these shoes!

The Dance movement is simple and repetitive but quite beautiful

The Dance movement is simple and repetitive but quite beautiful