As the sweltering summer nears its end, the cooler autumn is fast approaching as September arrives. Being the season of harvesting, many of Japan’s autumn festivals are related to celebrating the year’s bountiful fruits of labor from the fields. For a different experience this 2017, how about heading to a jazz-themed autumn festival taking place at Noge in September?
Noge-cho (野毛町) is located in the Naka Ward of Yokohama City which is near Sakuragicho Station (桜木町駅) on the JR Negishi Line (JR根岸線). Being a gathering place for as many as 60 restaurants and bars, Noge is a favorite among the drinking crowd, especially those who like bar-hopping. However, there is more to Noge than its exciting nightlife. There are a number of attractions you can include as part of your day trip in Yokohama such as Nogeyama Zoological Park (野毛山動物園), Yokohama Nigiwaiza (横浜にぎわい座), and Yokohama Nourakudou (横浜能楽堂), which is the oldest Noh theatre in the Kanto region.
The Noge Jazz de Aki Matsuri will be taking place at Hondori (本通り) i.e. Main Street of the Noge Shopping Street (野毛商店街) on 24 September 2017 from 2 pm to 9 pm. This festival was conceptualized by the shop owners in the shopping street who wanted to rejuvenate the area as it had lost its shine due to diminishing foot traffic. Jazz Cafe Chigusa, which has been operating in the area for a long time, joined forces with the other shops to start this festival that aims to bring crowds back to Noge through food, drinks, fun, and jazz music.
As the name suggests, the key element of the festival is jazz music. If you are a fan of this music genre, you will be pleased to know that you can enjoy non-stop jazz tunes outdoors around the main stage while having a beer or two at the beer garden or munching on some local delicacies from the 60 stalls hosted by local shop owners.
There is no entrance fee to enjoy the festivities, but of course, you would need to pay for your food and drinks. Even as you walk around the other areas, there will be some performing artists making their rounds in guerrilla style so you will never be far from the endless supply of music.
If you are wondering whether this festival is suitable for children, rest assured that there will be some performances and activities which they can participate in. For example, there will be a wrestling performance where children can come together to overcome “evil forces.” The samba performances from the Asakusa Samba Carnival, which takes place in August every year, will also be brought to Noge so that everyone can enjoy the pulsating and energetic beats while letting their hair down. Last but not least, the mass jazz Obon dance is set to raise the night’s atmosphere to a high as the crowds dance together under the autumn night sky.
Now that you’ve read so much about the Noge Jazz de Aki Matsuri, how about swinging by Noge this September for some wholesome fun to mark the start of autumn?
Noge Jazz de Aki Matsuri Website *Japanese only