The Asakusa Samba festival is without a doubt, one of the most colorful festivals in Japan. The idea is taken from the Rio Festival of Brazil and surprisingly, it has become a tradition ever since. The Samba Festival started in 1981 when the Mayor of Taito City invited the winning team of the Rio Festival in Brazil to perform in Asakusa. The community was delighted and even created their own teams in order to join the festivities. Who would have thought that a simple idea turned into a "Grand Festival" that has gained popularity and attracts more than half a million tourists every year?

Click image for larger version

Name:	1.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	186.0 KB
ID:	1064


The parade features over a thousand dancers in colorful costumes as they dance to the beat of the music and entertain the crowd with their skilled performances. The event usually consists of thirty to forty teams and divided into three league categories. The first category are the professional dancers who specialize in Brazilian or original Samba dances. The remaining two categories are for those who just want to simply participate and enjoy the event to their heart's content. This is the part where the "unique Japanese culture" comes into play. You'll even see cosplayers, mascots and other themed costumes dancing in the streets during this grand event in Asakusa.

Click image for larger version

Name:	2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	158.4 KB
ID:	1065


The lead of the parade is none other than the Rainha de Bateria (Queen of the Drums) and you will recognize her because of her special costume and sash that have the title inscribed on it. This event usually takes four to five hours to finish so you need to be prepared if you want to see everything from start to finish. Of course, given the scale of the event, the streets are bound to be crowded so you need to come very early in order to secure a position on the route of the parade. Since the festival is held during the month of August, you can expect that the weather would be "HOT'. Consider yourself lucky if it's a bit cloudy on that day, if possible try to find a place that has a shade (bring an umbrella if you have to!) and bring water bottles to keep yourself hydrated at all times.

Click image for larger version

Name:	3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	195.8 KB
ID:	1066


People in Japan really understand how to fully enjoy their festivals and they take pride in hosting these kind of events. They even set aside a budget in order to organize the event and ensure that the performers, guests and tourists will have a memorable experience. Of course, unexpected things are bound to happen but at the end of the day, the Asakusa Samba Festival will definitely leave you with a lasting impression!


In order to enjoy this event to the fullest, feel free to dance along with the music. At the very end of the event, there will come a time where you can dance in the streets with the performing teams for the so called "FINALE". Make sure to take plenty of photos so you can brag to your friends back home and entice them to come with you in the next Asakusa Samba Festival!


Once again, Join me next time as we take on a journey to find the most interesting things that is uniquely Japan!