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Friday, 30th August 2013
In Japan Entertainment News,

Asakusa gets set to samba

Tokyo's Asakusa district is getting ready to samba this weekend, with the 32nd Carnival due to hit the streets from tomorrow (August 31st).

Brazilian beats will be within hearing distance of some of Japan's most notable tourist attractions, including the great Senso-ji temple and its magnificent gate.

Although the festival generally attracts around 500,000 spectators, an even stronger turnout is expected this year as it is the first time in a while that the event hasn't clashed with other dance spectaculars such as Koenji Awaodori and Super Yosakoi.

The infectious rhythms of the samba have helped to cement the carnival as one of Tokyo's most popular summer events. Attendees can expect a range of attractions, including motor vehicles adorned with extraordinary floats and exceptional flower displays.

Carnival's history in Asakusa is as colourful as the costumes. In 1981, the mayor of Taito City invited the winning group of that year's Rio carnival to Tokyo to put on a display.

Since then, thirty or forty teams made up of 3,500 samba dancers have assembled on the streets of Asakusa to compete for prizes.

The celebration is made all the more special by the fact that some teams decide on a theme, with the more inventive including Star Wars.

As a city that was constructed around the historically important temple Senso-ji, Asakusa is more used to the religious festivals such as Obon.

Carnival is an excellent opportunity for tourists to witness Tokyo at its most fun, and the infectious rhythms are sure to get the hips of even the most reluctant dancer moving in sync. Party late on into the evening with a visit to one of the district's many karaoke bars.

Asakusa is easily accessible via the city's extensive metro on, with the Tobu Skytree, Toei Asakusa and Toei Ginza lines offering regular services to the district.

Written by Susan Ballion