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Celebrate summer at one of Tokyo’s most popular traditional festivals

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Of the many local summer festivals in japan, the Azabu Juban Noryo, which takes place in the heart of Tokyo from Aug. 23-24, is one of the most popular in the city, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. With a history of more than 40 years, it takes place in Roppongi’s Azabu Juban shopping district, an area popular for its boutiques, antique stores and restaurants.

The old-school traditional downtown atmosphere of the district is ramped up with local businesses setting up dozens of stalls that line the streets to offer traditional goods and foods, as well as other refreshments. Japanese dishes from different regions of the country can be found in the Oragakuni Jiman area, which is opposite the festival’s annual antique market, while other stores will offer more specialties. Although this event was originally aimed at local residents, with support from various embassies located in the area a variety of international foods will also be featured at an international bazaar.

But it’s not all about enjoying good food, performances are planned for the 10-Bang stage set up on Patio-dori, and will include a variety of music, dance, taiko drum performances and other shows. Parades will also take to the street, while festival games such as goldfish scooping and other attractions for kids can be found in Amishiro Park.

Azabu Juban Noryo Festival takes place on Aug. 23 and 24 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both days at Patio-dori and Zoshiki- dori in the Azabu-Juban shopping district near the Azabu-Juban Station. For more information, call 03-3451-5812 or visit www.azabujuban.or.jp.