Awa Odori Dance Festival Kicks Off In Tokushima

Awa Odori dance festival kicks off in Tokushima

One of Japan's most famous mid-summer dance festivals, the Awa Odori, has kicked off in the western city of Tokushima.

At the opening ceremony on Monday, Tokushima Mayor Akiyoshi Endo said he hopes everyone enjoys the annual event.

A senior official of the organizing group declared the 4-day festival open, and dancers wearing summer kimonos or Japanese happi coats began dancing to lively music.

Groups of dancers perform so-called "So-odori" dances at four venues. They were accompanied by chimes, drums and flutes.

A visitor from Hokkaido Prefecture said this is his fifth time to attend the festival and that the event feels more exciting to him than last year.

The festival is scheduled to run through Thursday, although there are concerns about an approaching tropical storm.