Azabu-Juban is a lively residential area in central Tokyo with a mixture of Japanese shops, restaurants and bars. The convenience of several supermarkets in a central location and the proximity of Hiroo and Roppongi make it one of the more trendy and sought after residential areas of Tokyo. The main street, a block away from a busy road junction, has a village-like feel with cobbled stoned paving in some places. This atmosphere is created by the narrow streets, slow moving traffic, and a mixture of stores operated by older owners. Even the McDonald's has been carefully designed to be architecturally sympathetic.
In the middle of August (usually at the beginning or end of the Japanese Obon holiday), Azabu-Juban holds one of the most famous local summer festivals (matsuri) in Tokyo; The event takes place over two days on Saturday and Sunday with the streets being lined with local stalls and food vendors. Traffic is typically blocked from 3:00 to 9:00 pm on both days. During this time, large crowds of festival goers make the main streets largely impassable.
In 2011, this festival was cancelled, due to the practice of jishuku (自粛) - voluntary self-restraint - implemented after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake.
Azabu-Juban hot spring
Until 2008, Azabu-juban had one of several natural onsen(ja:麻布十番温泉) in Tokyo. Every Sunday from 3:00 pm visitors could enjoy traditional Japanese songs (enka) and dancing. The site of the hot spring has since become a car park.
- Patrick Drazen (1 April 2014). Anime Explosion!: The What? Why? and Wow! of Japanese Animation, Revised and Updated Edition. Stone Bridge Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-1-61172-013-6.
- Jolyon Baraka Thomas (2012). Drawing on Tradition: Manga, Anime, and Religion in Contemporary Japan. University of Hawaiʻi Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-8248-3654-2.
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