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Go dancing in the streets of Roppongi

by Florian Turgeon

Staff Writer

Home to numerous shopping areas, nightclubs and bars, Roppongi is probably not the first place you would think off when you want to experience some traditional Japanese culture. But despite its reputation, the district has a traditional side and its own Obon holiday event.

The Roppongi Hills Bon Odori 2014 at the Roppongi Hills Arena is a three-day festival of food, dancing and other fun. It opens on the afternoon of Aug. 23 with various stalls offering typical Japanese festival fare and a performance of the original musical drama “Gakugeki Roppongi Gaku” in the evening. For the next two days, the stalls will open from early afternoon, and from 5 p.m. visitors can join the Ropponjin Ondo dance, the event’s highlight. To learn the simple dance moves and lyrics to the song that goes with them, just follow a neighboring dancer or watch the performers on the stage. This is a relatively new tradition for Roppongi, with the original dance created in 2003 by a volunteer of the first Roppongi Hills Bon Odori.

Roppongi Hills Bon Odori 2014 takes place at the Roppongi Hills Arena from Aug. 22 to 24. Stalls opens at 3 p.m., and on Aug. 23 and 24 dancing starts at 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.roppongihills.com/events/2014/08/arn_bon.