It’s not every day I nip out to the local shrine for a little photo taking and run into gaggle of women dressed as eight foot tall birds. Japan can be weird, but it’s not usually this weird! They were performing a thousand-year-old dance called Shirasagi no Mai, which means (unsurprisingly), White Heron Dance. It was originally performed as an antidote to that internationally pesky medieval disease, the plague, but because it was apparently not the magic bullet people had hoped, it fell into disuse until 1968, when shrine officials resurrected it from images in an old scroll.
For much more gifted photos of this dance, check out Tokyobling’s Blog! If you’re in Tokyo in April and would like to see the dance of the white herons in Asakusa, directions & maps are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!