Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

The one thing I love about living in Japan is all of the culture there is to enjoy.  I always enjoy going to shrines in the New Year, watching the streets of Tokyo fill with Kimono clad girls for Coming of Age Day, the edges of the rivers and parks turning pink with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms, and the Right-Wing Nationalist face off with the Tokyo Riot Police on Constitution Day.  I also love the yearly Jiyugaoka Matsuri.  Ah Tokyo…

All of these provide me great opportunities for photography.  I know I am blessed with endless subject matter around me living in Tokyo.  I truly believe I have picked the right hobby for the city I live in.  I shot it last year and decided to try it again this year but try it on film.  I just love the look of film.  I was pleasantly surprised when I got my film back from the lab.

Today’s Configuration:  Leica M6-J , Kodak Portra 160 and various lenses, most my Noctilux 50mm f/0.95. Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

I quickly bumped into the owner of Popeye Camera out enjoying the festivities…  I love his shop.  There is such a character and charm to it.   I know one day I will end up putting down a few grand and buying another camera while I there getting some film developed.  I love the selection of cameras he has.   While I only shoot Leica and my Mamiya 645 now I could see me adding a few Nikons, Hassey or a Rollei to my collection.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

I’ll use the same description I used last year.  “It’s a bit hard to explain a Matsuri if you haven’t experienced one but basically people gather in town squares to socialize, drink and occasionally carry this shrine around…”

Matsuri is a festival that is usually sponsored by the local shrine or temple.   There are no specific days for Matsuri Festivals but they are typically late summer or early autumn.   Festivals are always great for taking photographs as people are always happy to have their photo taken and there is usually a lot going on.  If you are not comfortable photographing strangers then this is a great environment to get started.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

People are happy to pose for you…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

After hours of this these guys are starting to look pretty tired… or perhaps pretty tired from drinking.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

These guys are still having fun…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

This little boy was fearless…He was commanding the entire group to his will.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Taking a well deserved break from ‘shrine marching’…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Such an interesting face…  I was glad this guy stopped to pose for a picture.   I absolutely love how this image came out.  I am going to look for this guy when I head to the matsuri again next year.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

There were cops everywhere standing off at a distance watching some of the younger and rougher attendees of the festivals.   As it gets later in the day and saki and beer continues to flow the trouble eventually happens.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Me in the mirror…. Matsuri style.    I look like a giant!  I can’t believe all the people in the street behind me.  It is absolutely packed!   I love this series of photographs I have been doing.   As a photographer it is great to pick a theme of something to continue to shoot.  It will keep your eyes sharp as you are out on the street and on the lookout for.   For me its cones and mirrors.   I find them everywhere.   I even see them in places that others do not.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

I see this guy every year…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

He turned out to be a friend of my friend Pieter… such a small world.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

I ended up bumping into the two guys in the middle when I was on my way back from picking up my prints.  I ended up giving them all of the prints of them and their friends…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Dogs in a baby carriage.   Sadly this isn’t a baby carriage but it is made for dogs.   You can see shops carrying stuff like this for your dogs…

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Fish on a stick…  There just isn’t enough fish being served on sticks.   This is something the chefs of the world need to address.

Jiyugaoka Matsuri

Thanks for stopping by today…

 

17 Comments

  1. Dave, you keep delivering some quality photographs buddy. This latest group is just excellent. Wanna see more more more. Thank you as always for sharing.

  2. Great shots! I’d love to be able to photograph a festival in Japan.

  3. Fantastic images Dave!
    Love the mirror shot.

  4. What a great set of photos! You really outdid yourself. It’s the next best thing to being there.

  5. Hi Dave, I’ve been following your blog for ages now, and never commented, but these photos of the Matsuri have compelled me to! I lived in Japan years ago and was lucky enough to be involved in a local Matsuri. These photos have bought all those memories back so vividly it’s like being there again. Thanks so much!

  6. Hi Kate – Thanks so much! I am always happy when people comment for the first time. I am glad you enjoyed the images and they were able to bring you back in time.

  7. Thanks Arefti.

    Thanks Joe. I love taking photos in mirrors…I like that you could see all of the ‘action’ behind me.

  8. Thanks Matthew. I am really happy with how those came out. I am loving film.

  9. You are right when you say a matsuri is a great place to get used to shooting strangers if it’s something that scares you! Great pics by the way, I like the one of the kid being held in his fathers arms.

  10. Nice set, and great to see Maki of Tokyo Photo Society in action :-)

  11. I was surprised he knew you. Pieter is famous!

  12. You continue to inspire. My friend and I started a similar project in New Haven, CT USA at http://www.ilovenewhaven.org. Continue the great work. I hope you get a chance to check out our efforts.

  13. Are you going from an ‘almost’ daily blog to a Weekly Blog?

  14. Thanks Ben. I like that shot as well. It was one of my favorites of the day.

  15. Peiter – I was surprised he knew you… small world.

  16. Nice set Jeffrey…

  17. Setagaya-ku / Jiyugaoka! my small town! I miss you so much! Thank you share and the beautiful photos!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Shooting Film: TMAX 400 | ShootTokyo - [...] was another Matsuri in Jiyugaoka a few weeks ago that filled the streets so I decided to hit the …
  2. Fisherman's Wharf - ShootTokyo - [...] this weekend.   I love the festivals I am able to find in Jiyugaoka.  I love getting to shoot …
  3. Around Jiyugaoka - ShootTokyo - [...] town and my local shrine come alive for the annual matsuri…   Here is how I captured it last …

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