Styrofoam Art in Kawagoe

Kawagoe is a very popular tourist area in Saitama, about 30 minutes by train from Ikebukuro station in Tokyo. There is a lot to do in the tourist area of Kawagoe and a wealth of information about it on the web.  However, I want to introduce a little known fact about the art in the popular tourist area.  Around the area of “kashiya yokocho“, literally meaning sweet (candy) alley, there are a number of giant and life size animal replicas. They are all made out of styrofoam!

The artist, Yajima Kimio, retired early from his Kawagoe City Hall position, to indulge in his passion. I, for one, am glad he did. The displays change over time, so you never know when a new one will appear or an old one will be moved. Most of his work is displayed in Kawagoe, but you can also find some of his work in other parts of Saitama.

I got some of his work this past weekend. I realise after reading his blog tonight, I missed a few pieces. A good incentive, not that I need one, to go back to Kawagoe sooner rather than later. You can find Mr Yajima’s blog here: http://homepage3.nifty.com/kerokero2009/index.html
You can see some more of his work on this (unrelated) blog here: http://tokyoern.blogspot.jp/2014/06/a-walk-around-koedo-kawagoe-part-2.html

Sweet Street:

September Scarecrow Showcase

Every year in September we enjoy a Scarecrow display on a route we often take, on national road 254. This year, the “September scarecrows” were actually put out in August. During the last week in August the weather, became uncharacteristically cool and Autumn was declared. I guess that is why the scarecrows went up early this year.

In previous years, I have found the selection much better, but I still got some Halloween costume ideas from this year’s display.  The last time I posted about the annual display was 2013 and the photo quality wasn’t very good, but you can get some more Halloween costume ideas there too. (Linked: September Scarecrow Showcase 2013).  While the selection was not as good as previous years, I did find some scarecrows that made me smile and I feel are worth a blog post. 🙂

Minions Scarecrow in Saitama, Japan

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Shaun the sheep scarecrow

Shaun the Sheep in Saitama

Spongebob Square Pants in Saitama
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Mickey Mouse scarecrow
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A Police Cat or Cat Police!
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“Nebaaru Kun” Mito City mascot or as Asahi Shinbun Writer Takeshi Teruya put it “the unofficial patron saint”
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A creepy clown
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The one in the middle of the below photo has me baffled. Any ideas?

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There’s always at least one farmer.
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Elephant man?

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A Lego man

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A teacher!? The arm band on this one has me curious.

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Added on September 6th

Doraemon

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I sometimes don’t get what they are supposed to be, but I truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into making them.  It is always a pleasure to go and view the September scarecrows. The kids really enjoy it, too, and it gets us thinking about Halloween and what we are going to dress up as. 🙂

Have you any scarecrows in your area? I’d love to hear about them, or even better still; see them. 🙂