- The Kawagoe Festival is held on the third weekend in October each year in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
- The sound of traditional festival music, graceful dancing, and festival floats that never fails to impress!
- The festival climaxes after night falls, offering many more times the beauty and fun
The Kawagoe Festival is held on the third weekend in October each year in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
Known as “Little Edo” from the old days, Kawagoe is a beautiful city famous for its streets with their traditional storehouse style buildings. Only an hour or so by train from Tokyo, many tourists, including many foreign travelers, visit the town each year. In addition, Kawagoe becomes particularly vibrant on the third weekend of October each year when the Kawagoe Festival is held.
The sound of traditional festival music, graceful dancing, and festival floats that never fails to impress!
The Kawagoe Festival grew from a parade of festival floats, which was held to coincide with the regular festival at Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe with it’s history of over 360 years. The festival floats are about eight meters tall, higher than most rooftops in the area. Groups of musicians playing flutes, drums, and hand bells, along with dancers, ride on the floats performing graceful traditional dances. No one ever fails to be impressed by the 29 floats that move throughout Kawagoe’s streets, barely being able to make their way past the eaves of the storehouse style housing.
The festival climaxes after night falls, offering many more times the beauty and fun
As night falls, paper lanterns are lit up and the festival floats magically become even more beautiful. The highlight is the “hikkawase”, which unfolds at every intersection on Chuo Dori Avenue (the street of storehouses). When the festival floats approach each other, they turn their stages to face one another and a dancing competition commences. At the same time, the paper lanterns from the crowds gathered around the festival floats’, bob and dance wildly.
Knowing it’s such a magical and beautiful festival that has been celebrated for more than 360 years, I am filled with an indescribable feeling that transcends time.
Please take a look at a video produced by Tadaima Japan in 2013.
Held on the third Saturday and Sunday of October each year
In 2015, it will be held on Saturday, October 17th and Sunday, October 18th.
3-11-2 Miyashitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama Pref.