Although we can see cities holding a festival every few months, Tokyo is a hot place to find it. Walking in a local district, especially summer, you can easily hit a festival taken place, where shops are decorated with colorful handmade ornaments made of papers and woods. Last months, September, I happened to walk into a road near Chofu Station, where a small local festival was held.
As I walk through a shrine along the busy street, I noticed many lamps were displayed. It was unusual, since I've never seen any of this before. It was still late afternoon, hence the sun was shining weakly but surely. As I approached, I smelled sweet teriyaki sauce in the air. "That's it" I thought. This flavor deeply reminds me of festivals.
I took a glance at each of drawings on the lamps' shades. They were all handwritten, and to be honest, they were so beautiful.
There were small temporary stalls along with a narrow stone path. They were selling flied potatoes, sausages (German style, they called it), yakisoba, and even kebab. Among them, I discovered a shop selling grilled chest nuts (That's why they call this festival kuri-matsuri,くり祭り, named after chest nut in Japanese)
(I hadn't seen kebab at festivals in my young age, but it looks they've got a regular menu for festivals nowadays.)
After a while, a special car for festivals were finally took off to a main street. Ordinary, this road is packed with cars and pedestrians in the business hours. But today, the unique car called "dashi (山車)" became the only one that can be allowed on the road.
Okay, we have to check it out what it's like :)
Initially, many people grab ropes tied with the car, then pull them altogether. They also have a small place which is available for a few people dancing singing along with playing traditional instruments. While I was watching it, two children wearing masks were dancing, waving their hands and legs like forever.
On one area, which is usually a pedestrian road, was now for adult having beer and snacks. It looks festivals bonds people living there, children and adults alike. I like the atmosphere like that, though I hardly participate it. I couldn't help hoping these tradition remain as it is, at least for a while :)