Festival LanternsJul 28th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery
The streets were awash in lantern light and food stalls lined the area around the Bishamonten Zenkokuji Temple this past week at the Kagurazaka Festival.
After partaking our fill of great matsuri food and beer amongst the other revelers we decided to wander through that alleys of Kagurazaka to get away from the crowds along the festive and bustling Kagurazaka Slope.
The sounds of festival music echoed in the background as we began to explore the smaller streets and alleyways of this historic part of Tokyo. Navigating the area off the main street is a pleasurable jaunt through maze-like paths that twist and turn and where small, romantically lit, restaurants sit side by side with large elegantly appointed Japanese homes – were they ultra-exclusive ryotei, Geisha houses, that still operate in the area and have done for over a hundred years? As I strolled past, I admit to thinking about the wealthy Japanese men who at that very moment might be enjoying some fine nihonshu (sake) and an evening of Geisha entertainment.
Other establishments looked equally posh but some looked very inviting and a place where, if we hadn’t been so full, we might have popped in for an after dinner cocktail and some tsumami (traditional Japanese hors d-oeuvres).
Kagurazaka is a great area to explore day or night, but in the evening the area evokes a special feeling that is somehow lost during the daylight hours. It may not be on most peoples list of things to do in Tokyo but for me it ranks as one of the better places to take a stroll on a relaxing summer evening in the city.
This and other great images of Japan can be found in The Nihon Sun Japan Photo Gallery.
Image Credit: Personal Collection