Experience the energy and excitement of one of Tokyo’s most vibrant festivals, the Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi 2023. Taking place on August 26th and 27th, this fantastic two-day event brings traditional Japanese Yosakoi dance right into the heart of Tokyo.
What To Expect?
Set against the backdrop of Tokyo’s bustling Harajuku district, teams from across Japan gather to compete in this annual festival.
Watch as they put their own modern spin on traditional Yosakoi dance, creating an electrifying spectacle of music, color, and movement.
The festival takes place across several venues, including Harajuku Omotesando, Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and the area in front of NHK along the Zelkova-lined street. Each offers a unique atmosphere, from the tranquil Meiji Shrine to the energetic streets of Harajuku. Be prepared for lots of walking, but also lots of excitement!
The festival is hosted by the Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki Association, a local business promotion association, with special cooperation from the Meiji Shrine. Their involvement ensures the event is not just entertaining, but also deeply rooted in the local community.
Attending The Festival
So, if you’re in Tokyo in August 2023, don’t miss the Harajuku Omotesando Super Yosakoi. With its blend of tradition and modernity, it’s the perfect way to experience the rich culture of Tokyo.
Whether you’re a fan of dance, interested in Japanese culture, or simply enjoy a good festival atmosphere, this is an event that should be on every Tokyo visitor’s itinerary.
Remember to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot and, of course, don’t forget your camera. These are memories you’ll definitely want to capture!
|Harajuku Omotesando Genki-matsuri Super Yosakoi ( 原宿表参道元氣祭スーパーよさこい)
|August 26th and 27th, 2023
|Harajuku Omotesando/Meiji Shrine/Yoyogi Park/Avenue in front of NHK
|Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai Shopping Street Promotion Association
|In Special Cooperation With
History Of The Super Yosakoi Festival
The Super Yosakoi dance festival was born in 2001 under the organization of the local shopping avenue association, Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai. Crafted as an homage to the traditional Yosakoi festival from Kochi Prefecture, it coincides with the dedication festival of Meiji-Jingu every last weekend of August.
Each year, approximately 100 teams from across Japan converge on Omotesando to perform their unique renditions of the Yosakoi Naruko Dance. The Super Yosakoi has grown in popularity over the years and is now celebrated as one of the biggest Yosakoi events in Japan.
The Origin of Yosakoi
The term ‘Yosakoi’, translating to ‘Please come at night’, hails from the Tosa dialect spoken in Kochi Prefecture. The festival was initially held in 1954 by the Kochi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to reinvigorate the local economy post-war. Starting with only 21 teams (750 participants), it rapidly grew in popularity over the years. By 1970, it was recognized as one of Japan’s top 10 festivals and today, it’s celebrated all over the country with over 220 Yosakoi style festivals born from its inspiration.
The Heart of Yosakoi: Music and Dance
At the heart of the festival is the Yosakoi Naruko Dance, a choreography that teams are free to adapt as long as they incorporate the original song by Eisaku Takemasa. The dance is characterized by its high-energy moves and the use of Naruko – musical instruments that resemble wooden clappers.
These Naruko, originally used as bird scarers, are an irreplaceable part of Yosakoi and are used to accentuate the rhythms of the dance. With no regulations on their design or color, teams often customize them to match their unique costumes.
Costumes and Jikatasya
The Yosakoi festival doesn’t impose any rules regarding costume design or color, giving teams the freedom to express their creativity. The costumes have evolved with the dance over the years, ranging from traditional Yukata to modern and unique designs reflecting the theme of the team.
Another important component of Yosakoi is the Jikatasya, a decorated truck leading the team. Besides being the command center for the team, it serves as a moving stage for sound machinery and live bands, adding a unique touch to the performance.
Best Hotels To Stay For The Festival Super Yosakoi
Given the festival’s central location, finding a great place to stay is easy (just make sure to book early). Here are five highly recommended hotels near the festival venue, each offering its unique charm and convenient access to Harajuku Omotesando, Meiji Jingu, and Yoyogi Park.
Dubbed as one of the most popular hotel rooms in Tokyo, TRUNK offers a boutique accommodation experience. It’s a favorite amongst discerning travelers, and with only 15 rooms, it’s as exclusive as it gets.
2. All Day Place Shibuya
Opened in April 2022, this hotel provides a modern stay experience within a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station. Located between Meiji-dori and Aoyama-dori, it’s a perfect choice for festival-goers.
3. Sakura Fleur Aoyama
Offering a stylish vintage aesthetic, Sakura Fleur Aoyama is a petit hotel with rooms that will charm you with their cuteness. If you appreciate vintage design, this is your spot.
4. Sequence Miyashita Park
A next-generation lifestyle hotel integrating parks and commerce, Sequence Miyashita Park provides a unique blend of nature and urban amenities. Enjoy the on-site cafes, restaurants, and rooftop bars during your stay.
5. The Millennials Shibuya
Not your typical capsule hotel, The Millennials Shibuya offers evolutionary capsules with a 2.3m ceiling and 120cm wide mattress. If you’re traveling solo or looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising comfort, this is it.
Each of these hotels can be booked through your preferred travel platform. Be sure to book early to secure your stay during the festival weekend.
The Harajuku Omotesando Genki-matsuri Super Yosakoi Festival, with its mix of traditional and modern influences, is a testament to Tokyo’s rich cultural tapestry. This colorful, energetic festival, steeped in tradition yet ever-evolving, is truly a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo in August.