Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Kawagoe Matsuri 川越まつり- 2012"

This whole batch is of my visit this year to the Kawagoe Matsuri (川越まつり).  The video clips are arranged in chronological order, so if you watch them that way (from one to twenty-six), you can get some idea of the progression of the event over several hours.  I got there in the afternoon and left not long after darkness fell.  I considered staying a little later, but a lot of new people were pouring into the event for the after dark segment and it was getting to the point where you couldn't move about very freely.

When there are very few people at a festival, it feels lonely and neglected, and then, as more people arrive, it gets livelier and more interesting (a feeling that gets stronger with more people still), but when it gets to the point where you can't freely navigate around the event, it becomes less fun and a feeling of wanting to be free of the crowds sets in.  It was basically at that point that I headed for the station and took a train towards home.

When I arrived in Kawagoe for the festival, the first thing I did was get some food at a couple of the many food stalls set up for the event, and then I began walking around - exploring the different streets, watching the traditional floats and listening to the live music played from people on each float.

I think my favorite aspect to the event is that they close off several blocks of the city to all motor vehicles, and people on foot take over the streets.  Were that this was the constant state of cities the world over!  I understand how important cars are out in the countryside, but in the city, they're a curse.  (Incidentally, I don't think the degree to which Japan has become a car culture is fully understood outside Japan.  While Tokyo simply would not function without mass transit, it's a point of pride with many people in the countryside to never set foot on any kind of public transportation.)

Kawagoe Matsuri (A) Food Stalls by Hon-Kawagoe Station (121020) 川越まつり 01

Early Afternoon Food Stalls (121020) 川越まつり 02

Food Stall Stroll (Early Afternoon) 121020 川越まつり 03

Return Walk (by Food Stalls) 121020 川越まつり 04

Kawagoe Matsuri (B) Entering Main Festival Area (121020) 川越まつり 05

Kawagoe Matsuri (C) Festival Walkabout (121020) 川越まつり 06

Kawagoe Matsuri (D) Temple Food Stalls, Etc. (121020) 川越まつり 07

Kawagoe Matsuri (E) Side Street (121020) 川越まつり 08

Kawagoe Matsuri (F) Middle of the Road (121020) 川越まつり 09

Kawagoe Matsuri (G) Side Street Temple, Etc. (121020) 川越まつり 10

Float Parade (Walking with Float) Kawagoe Matsuri (121020) 川越まつり 11

Back and Front Sides of Float (121020) 川越まつり 12

Watching Festival Floats (Kawagoe Matsuri) 121020 川越まつり 13

Float and Side Street (Kawagoe Matsuri) 121020 川越まつり 14

Float Passes Down Side Street (Kawagoe Matsuri) 121020 川越まつり 15

Kawagoe Matsuri (H) Candy Area (121020) 川越まつり 16

Kawagoe Matsuri (G) Float, Crowds, Etc. (121020g) 川越まつり 17

Old Kawagoe Festival Time (121020) 川越まつり 18

People Walking by (in Old Kawagoe) 121020 川越まつり 19

Kawagoe Matsuri (H) Evening Calm (121020) 川越まつり 20

Twilight at Kawagoe Matsuri (121020) 川越まつり 21

Twilight Illuminated Floats (Kawagoe Matsuri) 121020 川越まつり 22

Twilight Crowds at Kawagoe Matsuri (121020) 川越まつり 23

Kawagoe Matsuri (I) Walking Towards Station (121020) 川越まつり 24

Kawagoe Matsuri (J) at Night (121020) 川越まつり 25

Kawagoe (Walking to Station Through Festival Crowds) 121020 川越まつり 26

Hon-Kawagoe to Minami-Otsuka at Night (Seibu Line) 121020

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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