Sunday evening we biked to Koenji to catch the Awadori Dance Festival. Reported to be Tokyo's third largest festival (behind the Sumida River Fireworks Festival and the Asakusa Samba Carnival), the streets of this little area filled to the brim with viewers, dancers, and musicians alike. The air literally vibrated with drumbeats and the chants of the dancers. Spectators fanned themselves almost perfectly with the beat, and cheered the 188 troupes on as they made their way along the route.
And to serve them, of course, food stalls selling grilled meat, whole fish on a stick, beer, hot dogs, etc., were in abundance. It seemed every shop whether a hair dresser, a clothing store, or actual izakaya had a grill with an bucket of iced beverages on their stoop. And every stall had customers munching, drinking, or pondering their purchase while the drums beat on through the streets.
My favorite snack find of the evening? As a self-confessed yasai otaku it could only be the chilled cucumbers sold with a nice miso dipping sauce. Served straight up or on a stick and slightly crushed to enhance the flavor-catching surface I was utterly delighted to see fresh, in-season vegetables served up on this hot evening.