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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Anjo City Tanabata Festival


The Anjo City Tanabata Festival took place from August 4-6 in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture. Joel Hadley Jr was in attendance for what was the 64th time the festival has been held. He kindly sent us these great photos and video.

Anjo City Tanabata Festival, Aichi.

The Tanabata or Star Festival is usually associated with July 7 and has its origins in an early Chinese festival recounting the tale of two star deities (Vega and Altair) who were forbidden to meet except on this auspicious day. The Tanabata festival story first came to Japan during the Heian Period of Chinese cultural influx.

Anjo City Tanabata Festival, Aichi Prefecture.

Anjo vies with other large Tanabata festivals in Sendai, Shizuoka, Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture and Asagaya in Tokyo to be the biggest and best in Japan. The Anjo Star Festival claims the largest number of tanzaku (votive paper strips) and longest bamboo-lined street.

Events include a parade of school children, music events and Obon odori dance performances.

Anjo City Tanabata Festival.

Around a million people attend the festival over its 3 days and there are hundreds of food stalls, lit by lanterns at night, set up to cater to the milling crowds of yukata-clad spectators.

Sample such festival favorites as yakitori (grilled chicken), kakigori (shaved ice), yakisoba (fried Noodles) and takoyaki (octopus in a batter).

Anjo City Tanabata Festival, Aichi.

The festival takes place in the streets around JR Anjo Station. JR Anjo Station can be reached from Nagoya Station in less than 15 minutes.

Take the slowest Kodama shinkansen to Mikawa Anjo Station (10 minutes) and then change to a local Tokaido Line train for Toyohashi (2 minutes). The journey costs 2,720 yen. Alternatively take a JR Rapid service train from Nagoya Station bound for Toyohashi and get off at Anjo (470 yen; 25 minutes).

Anjo City Tanabata Festival, Aichi.

The Japan Rail Pass is valid on this journey.

Alternatively take a Meitetsu train from Nagoya Meitetsu Station to Minami-Anjo Station on the Nishio Line and walk about 5 minutes.

To find out more about the event visit the official website www.anjo-tanabata.jp or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/tanabata.anjo

You can see more of Joel's take on Japan on his YouTube channel.

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