The Asakusa Samba Carnival is usually a big, blown-out affair, but while the parade is finally back for 2023, it will be held on a slightly smaller scale than before.
At Asakusa’s Samba Carnival, you are guaranteed to see the most dazzling array of beautiful telephoto lenses that you have ever witnessed — and the dancers are quite nice too!
Reflecting Japan’s close ties with Brazil (Brazil has the largest Japanese diaspora in the world), the festival sees dancers with tiny costumes and enormous feathered head dresses.
The carnival kicks off at 12:00 p.m. down Asakusa Kaminarimon Street. There will be no floats this year or contest, so it won’t last as long as other iterations.
And now a word from our man on the ground Grigoris
Best spot for photo-taking
If you care for more candid photos of the dancers, I’d suggest going either to Umemichi Dori (at the entrance of Kaminarimon Dori) where the crews make their entrance from or to Kokusai Dori (at the end of Kaminarimon Dori) which is where most exit from. You’ll miss the actual dancing but you’ll get a chance to see the dancers from up close and probably take a picture with them (if taking a picture with a 180 cm/5’9 samba queen is something you’re interested in).
Also good for such pictures are the streets running parallel to Kaminarimon Dori in the south—many crews return to their accommodations using these. By the way be prepared for a culture shock/stereotype demolition: despite their unmistakably Brazilian appearance these girls (and guys of course; I’m not making any assumptions here) are Brazilian-Japanese who either live in Japan or have flown in for the event so their Japanese is pitch-perfect.
Have a great time!
Photo credit: Grigoris MiliaresisOrganizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.