Taiko

Today’s T word is one of my favorite things. Taiko! Being a big fan of this traditional percussion instrument, I’ve even participated in a workshop (in Canada) to learn to play.

Taiko 1

When I planned my accommodations, I accidentally-on purpose booked a hostel-inn in walking distance to Taito’s Taiko museum. Yes, I was staying in a city called Taito, that had its very own Taiko museum.

TaikoWindow

When I arrived in the Asakusa district of Taito, I was dismayed at the ‘CLOSED’ sign in the window of the museum. I’d arrived too late in the day to visit. I eyed the window display of the museum a few times a day, going to and from the inn. I also didn’t know ahead of time, that the place was open every day EXCEPT the ones I’d be living in Asakusa!

Taiko 2

Fortunately, the gift shop was open. I was allowed access to the upstairs showroom, even though the museum itself was closed, and that ended up being almost as good. I later learned the museum was more of a gallery, and quite small. So maybe I didn’t miss much.

Taiko 3

I was also happy to chance upon a live outdoor taiko performance next to Matsumoto Castle, in Nagano Prefecture. It was a gorgeous sunny day, with a pleasant breeze. Amazake in hand, I watched the taiko troupe play only one song before they took a break.

Taiko Perf 1

I thought that might be it, but they soon returned for more! It was invigorating to watch, what with the nice weather and festive atmosphere, with plenty of people mulling around and kids playing games. This was still during Shogatsu week, hence the lively atmosphere!

Taiko Perf 3

Taiko Perf 2

It was a treat to randomly come across the troupe when I wasn’t expecting it. It made me long to play taiko again. I’m a little drummer girl at heart!

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