Thursday, January 29, 2009

When the music's over..

I always thought that the best thing about Yoyogi park was the bands, dancers, artists and comedians that would line Koen Dori and the footpaths of Inokashira Dori on any given weekend, providing a plethora of free and interesting entertainment, but not any more.. Towards the end of last summer there were murmurings around the park scene of the police clamping down on street lives and raves, then we saw a couple of parties shut down by police, and then by about mid-November the signs went up. Basically the signs say "On the street, the playing of instruments, and the selling of goods or food is prohibited". The result has been the effective elimination of one of the most enjoyable aspects of hitting the park on the weekend, as well as taken away a fantastic place for young artists to develop their craft.







.. and the park scene in better days..















9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would not get too worried about it. The police have been trying to shut down the fun around Yoyogi Park/NHK plaza for many years. There never seems to be any sustained commitment to the ban's enforcement, and the party starts up again.

Fashion Hayley said...

Are the Rockabilly Dancers still there? This sucks if it is enforced. In Australia, and any other Western country I'm sure, this creativity would be encouraged and not banned. Japan is sometimes like that small town in Footloose that banned dancing.

Andy said...

Man, that utterly sucks. Yoyogi park is probably my favourite place in tokyo. Of the 4 times ive been there, i spent EVERY sunday watching the bands buying their CDs, drinking beer, and eating yakitori.

Hope these days wont be over.

Andy said...

Oh, and i even went to a few of those outdoor raves - brilliant stuff. Would be really crap if they put an end to all that as japan is one of the few places in the world where events like that pass without any incidents.

UbStudent said...

i love the pictures , the police sucks

Mallocup said...

the dancing elvis's are still there, twisting and (acting) cool, but it seems that this ban on music is actually sticking. again this weekend there were zero musical acts on the street, though catch dude was performing in the park near the fountain (he seems to have special permission from the park authorities). so sadly, it looks like people will have to go elsewhere to enjoy bands and zany entertainers..

Bill said...

What a shame. That was one of our favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. There was always some great (and plenty of not-so-great) music to be had.

Koy said...

And to think that the park thing was a scaled down version of the original "close down the street & party" Sunday afternoon thing that went on for almost 20 years... and influnced my move to Japan forever ago.

Anonymous said...

Japan is spending tens of millions of dollars trying to increase tourism while the city of Tokyo does everything they can to discourage tourism to Japan by shutting down one of the most talked about and tour-book listed tourist attractions in all of Japan - Sunday in Harajuku. Brilliant!