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Asakusa Photo Tour and Oiran-dochu

Last Saturday, I led a Maction Planet Photo Tour around the historic Tokyo area of Asakusa for Angie Tang and family. We were accompanied by Mac, founder of Maction Planet.

The day started with a photography lesson around Sumida River Park. Angie wanted to learn more about taking photos of Sakura. We were blessed with the timing as the Somei Yoshino trees for which the park is famous were in full bloom. While I instructed the family two at a time, Mac provided historic background and cultural context as he guided us around the area.

However, the highlight of the day, and the reason why Mac had arranged the tour in the Taito-ku area, was so Angie and her family could enjoy the Edo Yoshiwara Oiran-dochu Procession.

This is an annual festival which is held on the second Saturday of April. It is so unique, it has been deemed an intangible cultural asset. The participants are locals - residents of the area who, with help from professional kabuki makeup artists, hairdressers, and costumers, bring the traditions of the Oiran to life.

Mac made sure we got there at exactly the right time – not too early, but still able to get a front row view. 20 minutes later, the crowd was 5 people deep as later arrivals struggled to be able to get the shots they wanted! As you can see from the photos here, we had no such problems!

After the parade, Mac led us to a local handmade Soba restaurant. After an amazing meal, we headed to Sensoji, where everyone took some great shots of the temple, which I learnt is the most visited religious site in the world! The incredible day was finished off shopping for local foods on Nakamise-dori, including delicious Ningyoyaki fashioned in the shape of the Sensoji Pagoda and Kaminarimon lantern!

Thank you to Maction Planet for continuing to choose Yayaland Studio for their photo tours, and most of all thanks to Angie and family for a fun day!

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