This is the festival’s description online:Every year Sapporo holds a "Yosakoi" dance festival, known as the "Yosakoi Souran Matsuri".
The original Yosakoi festival began in the city of Kōchi, down South in the Shikoku region in 1954. Since then, it has become popular throughout Japan, with many Yosakoi festivals held in a number of prefectures, and the Sapporo Yosakoi Souran Matsuri, which began in 1992, is one of the most well-known Yosaki festivals in the country.
Many Yosakoi dance teams from all over Hokkaido, as well as from other areas of Japan, perform their routines over the 5 days over 19 different venues, either on stage or as a parade through the city. There is judging and contests for some dance performances.
I like seeing dance of all kinds, but my main purpose this day was to see one of my university students and his group dance. I arrived at the venue (in front of the train station) about half an hour before his group was scheduled to perform to make sure I wouldn’t miss him. His group is large and there were often dancers in front of him, so I did not get good photos, but I was happy I was able to see him.
The colorful costumes are very interesting! There are often several costume “changes” within a few minutes as the dancers’ tops become skirts or sleeves turn inside out or sometimes outer costumes are taken off and thrown to the side of the stage.
|The first three pictures are the same group|
|This picture and the next are the same group|
After leaving the venue at the train station, I went to Odori Park and watched one the parades from the street side bleachers. There are two parade routes with groups back to back the entire time.
As with all festivals, there were many choices of food vendors. I’m never sure what the food for sale is, so I ate the lunch I brought and only bought a drink.
I walked around watching the dancers at other venues and the people in general. The lilacs are in bloom and smell heavenly.
Even though I was wearing sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen, I knew I needed to be mindful of the time I was in the sun, so I headed for home mid-afternoon. It was another good day in Hokkaido.