Shinjuku Awaodori Restaurant
The Restaurant Experience
There are many restaurants; there are not as many restaurant experiences. Some might say that any restaurant whose primary draw is not the food should not exist; I beg to differ, as the food of some localities is best experienced as a part of its culture. Awaodori is the cultural heritage of Tokushima and the Awaodori Restaurant is all about Tokushima.
The Awaodori Dance Festival in Tokushima is held for a week. But the dancers practice year-round to perfect their performance. In the restaurant, each night a different dance troupe comes to perform and to teach the audience how to dance Awaodori. Awaodori dance is not easy. The moves are simple, but they require a bit of "unbalanced" coordination.
Usually, when a person walks (or dances), hands and feet move opposite each other; this gives us balance. But in Awaodori, the hands and feet move in unison, usually slowly and in a low crouching position that is itself a bit uncomfortable. When the dancers chant to the fools who observe to join the fools who dance, the absurdity becomes pure joy.
Fond Memories are Fulfilling
When I visited the restaurant in October 2014, only a month after the restaurant was opened, the dance troupe was local; they perform at the Koenji Awaodori, held for two days each summer. In a few years time, I'll probably forget the food, even though it was very tasty, but I'm unlikely to ever forget the dance. For me, if the experience lasts in one's memory for more than a few years, it's a winner. By this measure, I am pretty certain that this place is a big winner.