50th Fukuro Festival (23 – 24 September 2017)
18th Tokyo Yosakoi (7-8 October 2017)
Near Ikebukuro Station (West Exit)
Fukuro Matsuri is a popular annual festival, which takes place near JR Ikebukuro Station, attracting some 900,000 people last year. In 2017 the festival celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The festival is organized in two parts: the procession of mikoshi (portable shrine) in September, and Tokyo Yosakoi dance festival in October.
Yosakoi is originally a folk dance from Kochi Prefecture in western Japan. Today it is a popular free-style group dancing, using Japanese music arranged into vibrant, contemporary choreography. Each dancer holds a pair of naruko (sort of wooden castanets) in his/her hands and is clad in the team’s costume, designed with kimono motifs.
◆ Mikoshi procession in September
A total of 13 mikoshi will be carried on the shoulders of some 3,500 participants on the street outside the West Exit (“Nishi-guchi”) of Ikebukuro Station. Also, a variety of live performances such as dance, songs and Japanese festive music will be staged on both days.
◆ Yosakoi dance in October
More than 100 teams coming from all over the country will show off their Yosakoi, greeted by enthusiastic crowds. Competition heats up, to become the champion of the year.
Towards the end of the festival, after the award ceremony, all participating dancers will dance together Tokyo Yosakoi’s original number “Hifumi”, as part of the 50th anniversary special programme.
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