Tanabata in Asagaya the old way in 2018

Did you know Japan celebrates Tanabata in July and August? It does, and there is a simple reason for it. Many places hold it following the modern calendar. Suginami City’s Asagaya Pearl Center does things according to the old Japanese calendar! This retro-style shopping mall puts on a fantastic family event. In 2018 the crowd was big. But, it always is!

In case you didn’t know, the Pearl decorates its roof with giant paper-mâché dolls. It’s about one kilometer in length, not too far to walk. But, when it is crowded, you have to make your way through the mass of people. So if you want to see all the dolls, it might take time!

And the dolls that hang from the ceiling could be anything. They ranged from Star Wars’ Chewbacca to King Tut. Even Donald Trump and Kim Jon Un were there, looking very friendly together. Imagination is the only limit. Creators put much effort into them.

There were a few dolls that we see every year, like Doraemon, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Anpanman. I didn’t see Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character from Pirates of the Caribbean in 2018, which was a pity. Funnily though, I’ve never seen any of his movies.

As usual, I always have problems with my timing. I went on Sunday after school in my work clothes, even though it was hot and humid. By the time I finished, sweat had covered me. And I was thoroughly exhausted. I don’t regret it, though, as I enjoy photographing there.

If you are after a Tanabata event in August, head to the Pearl Center in Asagaya, as it is a good event. The paper-mâché dolls are great, and many shops have stalls out front that sell food and drink. It’s a fun event!  

Camera gear used for Tanabata in Asagaya 2018:

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T2
  • Fujifilm Lenses: XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

For other Tanabata articles, look at:

Please leave questions and comments below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *