In western Tokyo on Oct. 20, locals and visitors at the Fuchu Folk Parade danced in traditional garb to celebrate the city's 65th anniversary. The event included dozens of Japanese taiko drums and dashi festival floats as well as a chance to take part in Bon odori (folk dance).

Among the parade's non-Japanese attendees were a group of about 30 visitors from abroad who were staying at accommodations run by Sakura House Co.

Besmah Enam from the United States, who wore brightly colored rented yukata (lightweight kimono) said, "I have been in Japan for about one year and I enjoy participating in various dance events."

Students Cristina Mesina and Francesca Mora from Italy are majoring in Japanese culture at university and said that Bon odori is not difficult, so anyone can learn the dance on the fly after joining in.

Emese Palur from Hungary has been working in Japan for about one and a half years. "This is my first time to dance Bon odori, but I have tried Awa odori (traditional dance from Tokushima Prefecture) for about a month," she said.

Marvin Freund, who came to Japan on an internship program provided by the German law firm that he worked for, said that he started to get used to walking and dancing in yukata as the parade proceeded.

Thomas Leyh, a research intern who came to Japan with his wife and daughter, said, "This kind of event information received from Sakura House is very useful in deciding where to take my family."

After they enjoyed the dance parade, the group attended a dinner buffet at Tohoku Bokujo, a restaurant at Hotel Continental Fuchu known for its healthy options made with organic vegetables and fresh eggs delivered directly from farms.

See for more information about Sakura House.