Hot and sticky days followed by hot and sticky nights. This summer hasn’t been so bad (so far), but Thursday night was particularly humid. Heat has a tendency to make the world feel more chaotic, so I thought the temperature was to blame for the wild scene I encountered near Shimbashi Station 新橋駅. The normally disciplined salaryman サラリーマン had abandoned the sidewalks, spilling into the streets; men and women sat on the sidewalks, drinking beer. OK, so it didn’t take me long to realize this was a street festival…and not just any street festival, but the Bon 盆 / Obon お盆 summer festival. What a wonderful reminder that I’m not in Kansas anymore. Here’s a performance of the classic Tokyo Ondo dance 東京音頭:
In an argument between my inner tourist and my expat pride, I compromised by shooting pictures from the hip, a practice that yields an incredible number of blurry, worthless pictures, but which also provides a few interesting images.
Not all of the pictures were shot from the hip, as you can probably tell. Here is a rare moment of beauty in Shinbashi: