Taiko, Kaminarimon, and Ameyoko
Yesterday I went to Asakusa to watch a friend’s Taiko (a type of Japanese instruments) group perform at a local festival. I’ve never seen or heard Taiko before, so the whole experience was pretty cool for me. After that we stopped at Ueno and walked down Ameyayokocho (usually abbreviate to Ameyoko) street, which is known for its many shops. In the evening, we went to karaoke again, and I didn’t get home until after 5am!
When we first got to the little festival in Asakusa, there was another group performing before the Taiko group. Unfortunately, being the incredibly short person that I am, I really couldn’t see any of it, plus we had gotten there at the very end of the performance. I’m sad I missed it because they were all dressed up, some as geishas and others as mythological creatures from Japanese folklore. I did however manage to get a picture of them as they were walking out. Maybe at the next festival I’ll actually be able to see a performance similar to theirs.
Again this is another post that is hard to explain in words. I really can’t describe Taiko. It’s better just for you to see it. Since you probably can’t actually see it in person, I’ve included several videos and pictures from the performance below. All I have to say is that I thought it was really cool and I look forward to going to the festival next month where the full group will be performing, as this was only about one third of the group.
After the performance we walked around Kaminari-mon (the gate to Senso-ji Temple) since it’s right by the station, but unfortunately we didn’t get to actually go inside because it was closing. Instead we walked around the many shops that were setup nearby. They had a lot of cool trinkets and such based on Japanese culture and history, but since it was a tourist spot, many of the things were pretty expensive. I think I’ll wait and see if I can find other shops similar to these that aren’t so expensive.
After that, we went to Ueno and walked down Ameyoko. The stores had all sorts of different things from general goods to food to souvenirs. We stopped in some of the different stores and even had one of the guys give us a demonstration on how they made their special honey and peanut cookies. I’ll admit that it sounds strange, and the texture is a little strange because the outside is really stringy, but it was actually pretty good.
In the evening we went to karaoke again. As usual I had an absolute blast and ended up staying out till 5am! I couldn’t believe it when I walked out of the karaoke place and it was already light out side and I hadn’t even been to bed yet. We somehow had 16 people in the room! It was definitely a little tight, but we ended up splitting into two groups and getting another room, so it wasn’t so bad.
Here are the videos from the Taiko performance. Below the videos are the pictures.