Shimokitazawa’s Ichibanchō shopping district comes to life in mid-August as the local Awa Odori festival parades through the streets.
What is Awa Odori?
Awa Odori is a traditional dance festival made up of many groups of choreographed dancers. It’s a chance to see participants donning traditional Obon outfits, singing, chanting, and dancing throughout the neighborhood — a summertime classic!
On each night of the festival, 12 to 13 teams will parade along the route. The festival features teams from all over Tokyo, but expect big cheers for the local Shimokitazawa teams. There is also a solid contingent of teams from Kōenji — venue for the hugely popular Kōenji Awaodori Festival, which usually happens on the weekend following this festival.
In addition to the parades on Saturday and Sunday, there is a pre-event on the Friday called “Awa Night” with food and drink stalls filling the streets of the Ichibanchō shopping street.