If you’re in Tokyo in July, the Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri is a must see! Eisa is a form of dance originating from Okinawa and usually performed to mark the end of the Obon period. At the Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri you’ll see many different performances of dancing, Taiko drumming and more, performed by people of all ages. The matsuri will take place all day (12:00 – 20:00) but will be cancelled in case of rain, as the rain can ruin the instruments. Okinawa music has a special, exotic feeling which really stands out and combined with the beautiful dance and drum performances will leave a big impression.
This Matsuri is the biggest Eisa festival in the Tokyo area is pretty crowded. There are enough restaurants close to the event to eat, drink and cool down (Japanese Summer can be extremely hot). As the event takes place for about 8 hours, don’t feel stressed to see it all, take your time and enjoy all kinds of different performance groups. The event takes place around Shinjuku Station close to the East and West Exits.
Official Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri website (in Japanese): http://www.shinjuku-eisa.com/