While the torrent of canceled festivals has been disappointing, there is some hope in Nakano and Koenji this summer for a taste of culture. The city offers many ways to cool down as the weather heats up; Taiwanese fruity drinks, outdoor celebrations and award-winning curry bread offer a snapshot of things to look forward to.
Will the Koenji Awaodori Festival Take Place This Year?
In unfortunate news, the annual Koenji Awaodori festival has been canceled (at least, on the streets). The lack of action-packed roads and general merriment will be missed. But on a brighter note, there looks to be some tentative indoor planned performances at Za-Koenji to make up for it. If that’s not enough, take an intimate look into the world of the Awaodori dance groups through the festival’s official YouTube channel.
Nakano’s Bon Odori has Hopes for September
Every August, you can find energetic dancing and live music at Nakabon, Nakano’s annual Bon Odori festival. This year, due to the extended state of emergency, the festivities have been postponed until September. It will be held in the atmospheric Nakano Central Park, where families and friends can come together to watch free outdoor performances of traditional Bon dancing. Online events will coincide with DJs and singers coloring the stage. Not one to miss.
When: Sep 11—12
Where: Nakano Central Park, 4-10-2 Nakano, Nakano-ku
Restaurants and Dining
Irresistible Curry Bread from Hokkaido
Born in a quaint rural town in Hokkaido, this award-winning bread store Komugi no Dorei (meaning, wheat slave) soon outgrew its humble beginnings. Their original Zack Zaku Curry Bread, made from fresh Tokachi potatoes, was an instant hit and catapulted the store into several locations nationwide. This time they’ve landed in Nakano. You can expect both delicious bread and convenience with their pre-order, pre-pay app that also includes great discounts.
Where: Komugi no Dorei, 4-6-10 Nakano, Nakano-ku
Fragrant Taiwanese Fruit Teas
J.S. Pancake Café is a great staple of Nakano Central Park and is a frequent spot for those with a sweet tooth (like myself). This summer they’ve upgraded their drink menu with three delicious Taiwanese tea concoctions made from fresh fruit. Why not pop in after sunbathing in the park and enjoy authentic Taiwanese Oolong tea mixed with a variety of flavors. Only ¥500 when purchased with a pancake set.
When: Until Aug 31
Where: J.S. Pancake Café, 4-10-1, Nakano Central Park, Nakano-ku
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Unlogical — An Unconventional Group Art Exhibition
The alternative art space, Mono.logues unveils Unlogical: a new exhibition that combines the talents of three artists who all have unique art styles. Taro Maruyama announces his Television Age series which consists of VHS tapes, wooden boards and suburban nightlife. Reina Mikame uses charcoal and acrylic to express moody landscapes with poignant lines and Kenta Senekt delves into textures with 3D installations and unusual materials such as acrylic on sponge.
When: Until Aug 9
Where: Mono.logues, 5-30-16, Nakano, Nakano-ku
Want to know what else is new in town? Read our latest What’s New roundups.