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Yokohama Dance Parade

Enjoy one of Japan’s biggest outdoor dance festivals on the streets of Yokohama this summer.

By 3 min read

The city of Yokohama is transforming into one giant outdoor stage for the annual Yokohama Dance Parade next month. Around 4,000 professional and non-professional dancers will be showing off their moves from ballroom to Bon Odori, and there’ll be plenty of stalls selling festival food and drinks to keep you dancing until sunset.

This is the fourth year that the large-scale dance festival has taken place, and the number and variety of dance groups is set to be the biggest and best yet. Held on the first weekend of August, the festival invites participants from all over Japan to perform on the streets of Yokohama, showcasing a huge range of dance genres including hula, break dancing, ballet, samba, yosakoi, contemporary jazz, flamenco and more.

Akihabara girl idols and leaders of the Dempa music movement, Denpagumi.inc will round off Saturday’s festivities with an evening concert in the main area. The six members of Denpagumi got together at famous live house Dearstage through a shared love of J-pop and otaku subculture. This will be one of their last performances before they head off on their world tour in September.


On Sunday, Japanese robotic dance group World Order will also be bringing their unique, perfectly choreographed routines to the festival stage. Started by former mixed martial artist, Genki Sudo, the band has garnered a huge following on YouTube, recently appearing on reality TV show The Amazing Race and featuring in a number of high-profile ad campaigns.

Outdoor stages are set up in three main areas while the dance parade travels across town throughout the afternoon. You can spend the day exploring the Port area, catching performances in and around Yamashita Park which stretches along the waterfront from Osanbashi to Yamashita Pier. Dance groups will be dotted along the wide, grass-lined promenade by the bay and in front of the enormous Hikawa Maru, a retired 1930s cargo and passenger ship that used to travel from Yokohama to Vancouver/Seattle and now houses a museum.


The main dance area will be by Yokohama baseball stadium, home of the DeNA Baystars baseball team and just across from Yokohama Chukagai – Japan’s largest Chinatown and one of the city’s most popular attractions. Enter through one of the four colorful entrance gates to the area, pick up a manju (steamed bun) at a stall or get lunch at another of the many Chinese restaurants before wandering back through the vibrant, narrow streets to join the dance action.

Performances will also be going on a little way east of Chinatown in Motomachi, famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and fashionable shopping street. All along the pedestrian street you’ll find high-end shops, cute cafes and European restaurants from back when Yokohama first opened its port to foreign trade.

The Yokohama Dance Parade is a great chance to see some of Japan’s most talented dancers and explore the attractive city of Yokohama at the same time. The festival will take place from 15.00 – 21.00 on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of August 2015. For more information check the website.


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