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A different Tanabata in Asagaya 2017

Tanabata is an August event at Asagaya Pearl Center. You might think that a little strange as many places in Japan hold it in July. But some do it by the old Japanese calendar. That is good for people who love this festival since they can celebrate it twice.

A popular character in Japan, Anpanman.
Gru and Minions
Gru and his minions.
Orihime and Hikoboshi at Tanabata in Asagaya
Orihime and Hikoboshi.

Asagaya Pearl Center is a shopping arcade in Suginami ward. For Tanabata, they put on a four-day show. This one is a little different. They hang giant paper-mâché dolls and traditional decorations from its roof.

The arcade is about one kilometer in length. As the event gets pretty crowded, it takes a long time to walk the distance. You can have a nice time there with the stalls offering many things to eat and drink. Then all you need to do is look up and enjoy the dolls.

Captain Jack Sparrow doll at Asagaya Pearl Center
Captain Jack Sparrow!
Doraemon at Tanabata in Asagaya
Paper mache doll for Tanabata in Asagaya

In 2017, they included Winnie the Pooh and Orihime (the princess from the Tanabata story). Of course, there were many more. Some are huge, several meters long, while others are very small, less than one meter long.

giant paper mache Paddington bear
Paddington Bear

A few are there every year, like Doraemon, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Anpanman. The newest ones were Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character from Pirates of the Caribbean and Pinocchio. They were very, very good. But my favorite was Gru from Despicable Me, flanked by some minions.

Thomas the Tank engine
Thomas the Tank Engine.

The only problem I had with the 2017 festival was with timing. Due to work, I went on the Saturday. That was a slight mistake in retrospect because it was incredibly crowded. There were many mums and dads with their kids, lots of couples, and many people like me with cameras.

Minions dolls from Tanabata in Asagaya 2017

I highly recommend Pearl Center for Tanabata. The paper-mâché dolls make it something a little different. It is a lot of fun, especially for those with kids.

For more Tanabata articles, look at:

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2 thoughts on “A different Tanabata in Asagaya 2017”

  1. Pingback: Asagaya Shinmeigu is for Tokyo small shrine lovers - Tokyo in Pics

  2. Pingback: Tanabata in Asagaya the old way in 2018 - Tokyo in Pics

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