Hot night in Shinbashi 新橋で熱い夜

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:

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