Spring Festival: Noge Street Performance and Yokohama Oktoberfest
Starting from Sakuragicho Station decoration to the manhole cover designs seems like my neighborhood can’t get enough of clowns. After living in Noge-cho area for a year now, I often wonder why the official town symbol is a clown and understand the reason just last April.
On the first Saturday of the much awaited start of the golden week, I woke up due to the unusual noise outside my apartment. Unusual is the right word, since the neighborhood is relatively quiet during daytime but changes during night time, particularly every weekend attributing to the number of bars and drunk salary men. To hear so many people clapping and cheering at 10 in the morning is strange, so I peeked outside to see what’s going on and this is what I saw.
Nope, it was not a dream. No, I was not sleep walking. No, that’s not me, though most often my hair is as messy as her in the morning.
My neighborhood was transformed into a circus-like ambiance; clowns, acrobats, jugglers, dancers, musicians were occupying the streets and the crowds were just happy to jump from one make-shift stage to another. It was the annual Noge Street performance and this year marks the 37th year of celebration.
Consider as one of the largest gathering of both local and foreign street performers in Japan, it’s not all about juggling and contorting, often you will find some distinct personality walking the streets like this lady. By the way, she was so in-character, quite strange and creepy, managed to scare several kids.
Even on ordinary weekends, I urge you to visit Noge-cho and experience to dine or drink on small bars and restaurants that can serve only 5 to 8 people at a time. One of the most remarkable café in the area is Chigusa. Home to Yokohama Modern Jazz League and one of the oldest café in town, Chigusa serves the perfect combination of black coffee, jazz music, books and cigarettes. Don’t be shy to enter, by the fact that most people inside including the owners are fedora-clad old men, they are cooler than your typical Shibuya teenagers and are very welcoming.
It was perfect spring weather and I am in the mood for more walking. So I made my way to Red Brick Warehouse for another celebration- Yokohama Oktoberfest. Yes, that’s exactly correct. Octoberfest on the month of April, I guess just another reason for boozing.
I don’t have much to say about this and I don’t drink beer either due to some nasty allergic reaction, so here are the several pictures of people having jolly good time. Kampai!
These are only two of the reasons why I love Spring, apart from getting rid all those layers of winter clothing.