Tanabata in Asagaya - 2018
First we have Tanabata in July and then we get it again in August! The reason for that is some places hold it again accordance with the modern calendar while some places hold it in accordance with the old calendar. And one place that holds it in August is the Asagaya Pearl Center, a shopping arcade in Tokyo’s Suginami ward. It is a tremendous family event. And this time, in 2018, the crowd that came was awesome, really, really big.
Just in case you didn’t know, the Pearl decorates the length of its arcade with huge paper-mâché dolls, as well as traditional decorations from its roof. The arcade is a little over one kilometre in length, so it shouldn’t take too long to walk. However, when it is crowded it takes a long time to get to walk its complete length. And the dolls that hang from the ceiling could be anything, from Star War’s Chewbacca to King Tut and everything and anything in between. Even Donald Trump and Kim Jon Un put in an appearance, were looking very friendly together.
There were a few dolls there that we see every year like Doraemon, Thomas the Tank Engine and Anpanman. I didn’t see Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character from Pirates of the Caribbean this year, nor Pinocchio but everything else that was there was very high quality. It’s obvious that their creators put so much effort into them.
As usual, I always have problems with my timing. I went on the Sunday after work in my work clothes, even though it was incredibly hot and humid. By the time I finished I was covered in sweat and thoroughly exhausted. I don’t regret is though as I always enjoy photographing there.
If you are after a Tanabata event in August (it is also head in July) head to the Pearl Center in Asagaya as it is a good event. The paper-mâché dolls look great and many of the shops have stalls out front that sell food and drink. The website for the arcade can be seen here.