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The 47th Oedo-Kakki Parade

Japan’s National Highway was completed in 1972. To celebrate, the Oedo-Kakki Parade was held. In 2019, its participants danced down Chuo-Dori in central Tokyo for the forty-seventh straight year. I attended the event for the first time, and I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be fun and colorful.

Bon Odori dancers at Oedo-Kakki Parade
Scottish marching band in Tokyo for Oedo-Kakki Parade

The dancers came from all over Japan. And they included all types – Awa Odori, Sendai Suzume, and Nagasaki Dragon dancers. Some of the outfits were very elaborate and beautiful. In the mix were bagpipes, police, and brass bands too. It was colorful and lively.

Japanese girl's marching band at Oedo-Kakki Parade
Tokyo Police Department horse

And the excitement! The colorful Okinawan dancers were among the best. They knew how to work up a crowd and were very loud! Everyone appreciated their efforts.

The police had a solid traffic control plan for the event. Chuo-Dori (Chuo Road/Street) is quite a few kilometers long, and even though people lined it, there were no problems. When the performers took a break, they didn’t stop on the intersections. They left gaps through which pedestrians and cars could pass. Everything worked like clockwork.

Japanese girl's percussion group at Oedo-Kakki Parade
Nihonbashi Junior High School brass band
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Women's Drum Corps

Until I attended this event, I never realized how popular marching bands were in Japan. I had never seen so many in one place. The majority were women’s groups, but the men were well represented. I even saw one bunch in kilts and bearskin hats!

Okinawan dancers in Tokyo

I’m not sure how big the crowd was. But it was big, in some places four or five people deep. The 47th Oedo-Kakki Parade made for a most entertaining day! Please enjoy the pictures.

Tokyo street dancers at 47th Oedo Kakki Parade

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