Find out what’s on in Saitama this weekend with the best Saitama event list on the web. If its on in Saitama, its on insaitama.com!
Please see the grey “details box” at the bottom of each individual event for dates, hours, prices, location and external links.
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1st Kawajima Spring Festival
May 12 @ 10:00 - 16:30Varied, mostly free
The 1st ever Kawajima Spring Festival… Heisei no Mori park, home to Japan’s longest rose tunnel, in the town of Kawajima, used to have an annual children’s day festival on May 5th. However, from this year, they have abolished that and are having their first ever spring festival. It is modelled on the old children’s day event, with lots of things for children to do.
Kawajima isn’t a particularly well known town, except among skydivers as it is the home to Tokyo Skydiving club, but it has a few points of interest that make it worth a visit, particularly when this free, but fun festival is on.
The festival attracts mainly locals, but they come out in force and the park is extremely lively on the day. There is a great atmosphere and although we have only been a handful of times it is one of my kids favourite festivals in Saitama. There are lots of different events and offerings, some of which are outlined below. Also, while some of the playground is closed off for the festival, children can play in parts of the playground. The excellent wading river is open on the day too.
The very first time we visited this festival it was more a flea market with mainly food and toy stalls. They still have food stalls, traditional festival stalls as well as food vans, as well as shops and booths. However, in the last few years they’ve really upped their game. They now have live stage performances, character appearances, a boat ride, bouncy castles, various crafts and activities for the kids, and the main reason why kids really love this festival: the fish catching event. They always hang carp streamers in the park for children’s day.
Fish catching at Kawajima Spring Festival
One of the highlights of the festival is the extremely popular FREE fish catching event in the park’s large pond. The fish are released into the pond and children catch them by any means they can. They get to bring the fish home. The pond is separated into three parts and they use two of them. The larger segment is used for older children and another section is used for children of preschool age or younger. The latter only has about 20 ~ 30 centimeters of water.
You need to bring something for the children to catch and hold the fish in. However, the staff usually have a few spare large bags for the children to use. There are a lot of volunteer staff and even a couple of police that supervise this event. I recommend you bring a towel and change of clothes, at least bottom wear, as the children will get at least their legs wet. Be warned; if your children are anything like mine, once your child participates in this event they will want to go every year!
Live performances at the Festival
Live performances include music performances by children and adults alike. There is also a character show and in previous years they had music and dance too. The line up for 2018 is not yet available, but I will update when it is.
Hands on experiences at the Festival
There are tents with volunteers and Scouts offering children different experiences and teaching them crafts. The Scout’s tent was one of the most popular last year, with children lining up to make wari bashi depo (a type of catapult) and to try tightrope walking or to make survival crafts. There was a balloon artist in this area too, making animals out of balloons and giving them to children for free.
Heisei no Mori Park
You can read more about Japan’s longest rose tunnel and all the park has to offer here:
Access Heisei No Mori park
By train and bus – Take a bus, from East exit of Tobu Tojo line Kawagoe station, bound for Konosu. 20 minute walk from 「川島農協前」(Kawajima Nokyou mae) bus stop.
By car – 5 minute drive from the Kawajima exit of the Ken-O expressway. Free parking for about 150 cars, but they also open an overflow car park for the festival.
MAP IN THE GREY DETAILS BOX AT BOTTOM OF POST.