Tokyo's Asakusa Samba Carnival returns after 4-year COVID hiatus

TOKYO, Sep 18 (Kyodo) - The Asakusa Samba Carnival, a late-summer Tokyo highlight, returned Sunday following a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with sounds of passionate Brazilian music and explosive percussion filling a street in downtown Asakusa, drawing 300,000 spectators.

More than 2,500 people in 16 samba teams, including many dressed in colorful costumes, danced and sang while bands played Brazilian music as they paraded Asakusa's Kaminarimon Street, passing a landmark gate that leads to the popular Sensoji Temple.

The event was scaled down from the previous one, with a shorter parade course and without its typical contest format inspired by Rio de Janeiro's world-famous Carnival. Samba teams also did not have floats.