TOKYO, July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Tokyo, where the 2020 Summer Olympic will be held, has been receiving increased attention worldwide, while the number of visitor arrivals continues to grow. Suginami, one of Tokyo's 23 special wards that together make up the core and the most populous part of the city, is home to a number of well-known sightseeing sites and features a rich cultural background. Only 10 minutes by train from Shinjuku, the ward, a popular destination among visitors travelling in Japan, is also a must-visit locale for Japanese youth. Suginami has started to provide local tourism information about where to go and what to see in the ward in multiple languages since 2018 in a move to deepen awareness among travelers of the area's many charms.
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Japanese culture is most evident in its traditional festivals. An event showcasing Koenji Awa Odori, a dance that saw its beginnings over 400 years ago in Tokushima Prefecture on the southern island of Shikoku, is held in late August each year. Female dancers, wearing long straw hats, are at once both agile and elegant, as they move to the accompaniment of thunderous drumming, while male dancers perform an exaggerated yet humorous routine. Dating back to 1957, Koenji Awa Odori is one of Tokyo's largest summer street festivals with approx. 10,000 dancers and over one million visitors. This year's event, to be held on the 25th and 26th of August, has arranged a special seating area for visitors from abroad so they can get a close-up view, as well as an opportunity to master the routine. There are no borders between countries when it comes to music and dance, making a visit to Suginami one of the best ways to get insight into and a feel for authentic Japanese culture.
Koenji, a gourmet destination for music and the Koenji Awa Odori dance festival (C)Tokyo Koenji Awa-Odori
Asagaya, a destination well-known for the Asagaya Tanabata Festival and jazz music (C)Chuosen Aruaru Project
Koenji's neighboring Asagaya hosts the Asagaya Tanabata Festival every year in early August. This year's event will take place between the 3rd and the 7th of August. Visitors will find a variety of colorful decorations, traditional figures and popular anime characters. Plenty of festival food will also be on hand during the event. Food stands lining the streets in conjunction with the traditional entertainment will give visitors the unique experience of a Japanese festival.
Suginami is also home to the Suginami Animation Museum, a destination allowing visitors to enjoy, learn, experience and understand Japanese anime, Ogikubo, a street lined with ramen shops, and Nishiogikubo, a cluster of trendy boutiques, antique stores and leisure shopping. Suginami is a perfect choice for visitors seeking festive fun, anime and gourmet as well as vibrant Japanese culture.
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