Hachioji Matsuri

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What I was up to last weekend – and the next few to come…

I have a busy week coming up. Summer vacation has started, but this will be the first time in five years that I am actually staying in Japan. Regular readers of this blog will know that I usually take off during this time to SE Asia, but this year I’ve decided to stay local, as well as travelling north with Naoko to spend some time with her parents in a somewhat-remote part of Miyagi prefecture.

Before that, however, we will be collaborating with Aman Tokyo – dining at their restaurant for Naoko’s 30th – as well as checking out the Shimokitazawa Matsuri in my neighbourhood. In between that I also have a few articles to write for DAZED. And so, despite it being Saturday, today I am sitting in a coffee shop trying to catch up on a backlog of stuff I have been up to recently.

One such event I want to share is the Hachioji Festival that we went to last weekend. The Hachioji Matsuri (八王子まつり) is a major event on the Tokyo calendar and attracts visitors from far outside the Hachioji area (attendance is usually over 800,000). Turning up before the festival actually started, we got to experience a different vibe with teams of dancers getting ready and a few floats making their way through the streets. It was a relaxed atmosphere, and a far cry from the huge crowds that were no doubt due to arrive later in the day.

Traditional festivals are still one of my favourite things about living in Japan, and perhaps in the next year I will be able to visit some that happen throughout the rest of the country.

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