Geishas and Floating Hina Dolls in Tokyo: Edo Nagashibina

When people think about seeing geishas in Japan, the first thing that come to their mind is probably Kyoto (where geishas are called geikos and their apprentices maikos) with the Gion district or Pontocho. However, that does not mean you cannot be entertained by authentic geishas in other cities. In Tokyo, the main geisha area is the Kannonura street in the Asakusa district. One way to maximize your chances to see them from up close, is to find out the public events or festivals in which they participate. One of this events is Edo Nagashibina, a  ceremony during which children and their parents send into the Sumida river floating Hina dolls made with paper to dispel any potential misfortune waiting for them in the year ahead.

Again this year, 3 geishas from Asakusa were taking part in the official ceremony, and sent their own wishes into the river.

Edo Nagashibina 2017

In a red kimono, we had Rei-san:

In a dark green kimono, Tsugumi-san:

And in a blue kimono, Akane-san:

When you see geishas in the street, they are usually on their way to (or from) a work appointment, so they usually don’t have time to stop and talk to you. However, when they are on “official public duty”, they will let you take all the pictures you want as long as you don’t disturb the overall organization of the event.

Once the usual preliminary speeches are over, the geishas and the city officials joined the rest of the crowd on the Sumida river bank, where they release a flurry of balloons shaped like doves. Everyone can then let go his/her paper hina doll into the water.  Children from the Taito City “Ishihama Hachiba Children’s Center” have the extra privilege to do it from a boat especially decorated for the occasion.

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Merry Christmas From Tokyo!

Tokyo Sky Tree Christmas Illuminations

Merry Christmas everyone

Just took the shot above with the Fuji X-E1 and the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R OIS LM (Mr Fuji please make the name of your lenses shorter!!) kit lens (and first zoom in the XF lens family). The big tower on the left that looks like a reversed lightsaber is the Tokyo Skytree that opened in May this year… the tallest building in Japan and currently tallest “free-standing broadcasting tower” in the world according to the Guiness book of records. The tower is being illuminated in red and white especially for Christmas.

This is the view you get from just below Azumabashi (the red bridge in Asakusa, Asakusa station on the Ginza and Asakusa subway lines). This is a very popular spot and a lot of people were there taking pictures as well. You can also see the Asahi Beer Tower (the building that looks like a giant pint of beer) and the Asahi Super Dry Hall designed by Philippe Starck, with its characteristic “Flamme d’Or”. By the way, The Sensōji temple is a must-see if you visit Tokyo.

On another topic, I have currently sorted out somewhere around 2/3 of the pictures I took during a recent week-end trip to Kyoto, and will be able to share about this pretty soon. If you want to see some of the pictures I took with the X-E1, I have posted some of them on Flickr.

With all that said, let me thank you warmfully for passing by on my blog, and wish you once again a merry Christmas!

Talk to you soon…