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Bon odori

tokyo bon odori

A bon odori is a dance that the Japanese do during late summer to honor dead relatives. We had the chance to see one on our third night in Tokyo. When we arrived there were people dancing around in a circle. Almost everyone there were wearing kimonos but there were some people wearing street clothes. Most of the people in the circle were women but there were two or three men. The people were of all ages, from 3 to 80. In the middle of the circle was a structure holding up a drummer playing a song. The drummer was always a child but as the night went on they got older and older. Accompanying the drummer was some recorded music and some bell like instruments. The dance and music was very hypnotic. I would have liked to stay longer but my sister and I were getting very tired because of jetlag. Hopefully I will get another chance to see a bon odori before I leave Japan.

Arrival in Japan

A few days ago we left for our year in Japan. The plane ride was very smooth and we didn’t have any problems. When we got here we had to pull two cases of luggage each to our apartment in Shinjuku-ku. When we got to Takadanobaba station the first thing I noticed was the artwork on the walls of, manga artist, Osamu Tezuka’s characters. These paintings are located here because his most famous character, Astro Boy, was born in none other than Takadanobaba station.

Astro Boy 鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan Atomu tezuka osamu takadanobaba station

Compared to Ashland the streets and buildings are huge. The average building is about the size of our largest, The Ashland Springs Hotel. It was very confusing trying to get around because it is hard to tell if you are supposed to walk on the left or right side of the sidewalk, but now I’m starting to get the hang of it.

After a long and exhausting walk we finally got to the smaller neighborhood area where our home is. The houses here are a much more familiar size now and the streets are hardly big enough for one car to squeeze through. When we got to the appartments we were let into our room by a Japanese woman. At first when in the apartment it seemed tiny, way less space than we needed, but by now after unpacking our luggage and staying a few days, it feels a lot nicer.

Here is some more wall art under the train tracks dealing with Osamu Tezuka.

astro boy tokyo

takadanobaba train station manga artwork

osamu tezuka manga tokyo

japanese manga on the wall

original astro boy born in tokyo at takadanobaba train station