TOPAsakusa Samba Carnival: zoom lenses and belly dancers go downtown

Asakusa Samba Carnival: zoom lenses and belly dancers go downtown

By Vivian Morelli

The annual Asakusa Samba Carnival sees dancers wiggling their way through downtown Tokyo and shaking their feathers to the beat in what is possibly the city’s sexiest summer festival.

Out with the traditional, in with the samba: the Asakusa Samba Carnival may not have much in common with other festivals you’ve seen throughout the summer, but it might be one of the liveliest. Expect everything ranging from samba vibes, shaking hips, exposed stomach, glitter and sequins, samba beats, and a hordes of Japanese men with zoom lenses – no kidding, judging by our research on photo sites like Flickr.

Asakusa Samba Carnival
Asakusa Samba Carnival last year (Oimax/Flickr)

The Asakusa Samba Carnival was first held back in 1981, in an effort to revitalize the somewhat run-down area. It’s since been pretty much an annual summer event (except for 2011, which was skipped), and thankfully this year it doesn’t fall on the same weekend as Koenji’s Awaodori, so there will surely be a larger crowd attending.

Troupes of dancers will parade through the traditional quarters of Asakusa, going from Sensoji Temple to Tawaramachi Station. The whole event is modeled on the iconic Rio de Janeiro Carnival, and will hold a contest for the dance performers. Samba beats, churrasco grills and some Brazilian exuberance are sure to spice up the end of the summer.

Asakusa Samba Carnival

More info: 

When: August 31, 13:30-18:00

Where: Around Asakusa (see map)

How much: Free

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Images: OiMax on Flickr