Tag Archives: konosu

Kounosu Flower Festival | KOUNOSU

Poppies, roses and other flowers at various locations in Konosu. They are holding special events on the weekends. The poppy field in Konosu is the largest in Japan at 12.5 hectares. There are an estimated 30,000,000 poppies in bloom.

Image from the official website

May 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st: Open Garden with performances scheduled each day.

May 13th to 21st: Hanahisa No Sato Rose Festival with events on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st.

May 20th to 28th: Poppy Festival at Japan’s largest poppy field with special events on the 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th. There will be stage and live performances each day.  There will be a small mascot event on the 27th and 28th of which the 27th will have the most mascots visiting.

Between May 20th and 23rd they have a hiking event.

Full line up on the Konosu 2017 flower festival flyers (PDF).

Here is a personal account of the festival in English (I have no affiliation to this blog):

http://megfrancisco.tumblr.com/post/144806625862/konosu-poppy-fields

Please see the grey box for practical details (map, phone, website etc).

 

Cosmos Festival | KONOSU

コスモス畑

Each year to mark the blooming of 10,000,000 cosmos in the Arawaka riverbed area of Konosu City there is a 2 day festival near the flower fields.  The festival includes stage events, a farmers market, festival stalls and a flea market.
URL: http://www.city.kounosu.saitama.jp/kanko/event/1473232613522.html

Address: 636-1 Myoyo, Konosu, Saitama

Access:

Public Transport:
5 minute bus ride on “Flower Bus” (フラワーバス)from JR Takasaki Line Fukiage station (JR高崎線吹上駅)
toward Kita Kounosu (北鴻巣行き), alight at Cosmos Arena Fukiage (コスモスアリーナふきあげ).

Car:
11 kilometres from the Higashimatsuyama Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway.

 

Summer Festivals in Saitama July 14th – 20th 2016

What an absolutely fabulous selection of festivals on offer the first weekend of the summer school holidays. There is something for everyone in Saitama the weekend of July 16th to 20th. From the very traditional, history rich Japanese festivals, to a taste of Brazil in a Summer Carnival. From family friendly children processions to beer garden alcohol laden adult friendly festivals!  The choice is as extensive as it is diverse.

Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals you can enjoy this weekend, with links to more information in Japanese. Please note, that if there are any typhoons there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Satte Festival

July 14th, 16th and 17th

The large lantern floats are one of the major attractions of this annual 4 day festival. You can see them this year on the evening of the 17th from about 6pm.  Over the 4 days there are different events happening around the exit of Tobu Nikko Line Satte Station.  More information here (May 2016 – online information for 2016 festival has not been updated yet).

 

Okegawa Gion Festival

July 15th and 16th

The Okegawa Gion Festival has about 400 festival stalls and attracts about 100,000 people over the 2 days of festivities. Both days the festival runs between 3pm and 9pm approximately. The festival is close to the East exit of JR Takasaki Line Okegawa station. More information here. 

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 16th

SUmmer Carnival tsurugashima
Image taken fom the Saitama Tourist Office

This colourful carnival, just a minute from Tsurugashima station, is quite different from the traditional festivals at this time of year, but just as fun and vivacious.  This event will take place even it is raining. Image taken from the Saitama’s Tourism Bureau.  More information from the Tsurugashima City Official website here .

Fukiage Festival

July 16th and 17th

From the Kounosu City Official website

This local festival in Kounosu is not as well-known or well attended as the Paper Lantern festival, but its a fun day out all the same. There is a portable shrine during the day and an illuminated float at night. You can also enjoy a beer garden. It is held near the Fukiage station on the JR Takasaki line. More information here.

Sugito Festival

July 16th  and 17th

Awaiting updated flyer from the official page.

2014 Flyer from the official website

Sugito is most famous for the Tobu Zoo and amusement park. The town really bands together for their annual festival. There is a fantastic line-up of events over the 2 day festival, including child friendly attractions, even a children’s parade. From the official website: More information here.

 

Honjo Festival

July 16th and 17th

From the Honjo Tourism website

This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space.

You can find more information and the schedule on the official website.

Yono Festival

July 16th and 17th

There are a couple of local festivals in Yono this weekend. You can get more information on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website here.

Yoshikawa Summer Festival

July 16th and 17th

Awaiting for an updated flyer from the official website.

From the offical Yoshikawa website

This 400 year old festival is the pride of Yoshikawa city. It is quite different to other festivals in that it is spread out geographically and does not take place in one central location.  You can find out more on the official website here.

Kazo Festival

July 16th  and 17th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Mikoshi, portable shrines, floats with traditional music and masked dancers performing sacred dances. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 16th – 17th

It is not as big as some of the other summer festivals this weekend, but there is dance and parading floats. Please check out the official website for more detail on this local Sakado Festival.

Omiya Summer Festival

July 17th

Taken from Saitama Tourism and Internationl Relations Bureau (STIB)

The festival officially starts at 3pm, but the portable shrine progression will start around 5pm. It takes place to the south exit of Omiya station. This event will most likely NOT take place in the event of rain.

Information on the official website; Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

Kuki Lantern Festival / Tenno Festival

July 18th (also held on July 12th)

This festival celebrates local folklore and is famous throughout Japan. Huge floats of paper lanterns are carried through the town. From the official festival website: http://kuki.jpn.org/main/kankoukyoukai/maturi/

Chichibu Kawase Firework Festival

July 19th – 20th

Chichibu Kawase Festival

This festival is quite hard to get to, but people still come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. It attracts about 40,000 people and there are about 300 stalls.  There are also fireworks on the 19th from 20.00. 1300 fireworks will be launched.

This is NOT the official website, but it has the most detail: http://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_festival/1273/

Kagohara Summer Festival

July 19th to 20th

From the official Kumagaya City website

Held on the 19th and 20th each year, even if they are weekdays. This festival in Kumagaya is much lesser known than the famous Kumagaya Uchiwa festival. It is held near Kagohara station. More information on the official site here.

ENJOY WHICHEVER FESTIVAL YOU ATTEND TO KICK OFF THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS, and be sure to let us know how you got on.

MORE FESTIVALS COMING FOR THIS SUMMER IN SAITAMA.

Kamiya Park Play&Sports ground + Skateboarding | Kounosu

Ever wondered where you can skateboard legally and safely in Saitama? One place I know of is Kamiya Park in Kounosu, which has a designated skateboard park. This multi-use park has a number of sporting facilities, it even has a stadium. The best part: it also has a brand new playground and a wading river which are almost completed. Although, the park is still under construction you can use the playground freely.

The skateboarding area costs money, but for residents of Kounosu it is only 200 yen for school aged children and adults and 100 yen for preschoolers. For people who do not reside in Kounosu it costs 400 yen for adults and students and 200 yen for preschoolers. They have skateboards and helmets to rent for an additional charge. They have skateboard lessons available too. It is open from 8am all year round (except New Years holidays) until 4pm in the winter and until 6pm in the summer.  The official website for the skate park (Japanese only): http://kamiyaskatepark.com/

Other sporting facilities in the park include a stadium, baseball pitch, tennis courts, a soccer pitch, street basketball court and a multi-purpose ground. The baseball pitch, soccer pitch, multi-purpose ground and tennis courts need to be booked and there is a small fee. General facilities include a club house,  free parking, walking paths, a lawn, toilets,  vending machines, a wading river and a playground. The playground is beside the skate park and wading river.

The playground is suited to smaller children. There is something in the playground to engage my younger kids aged 5, 3 and 1. However, although my 6 year old enjoyed it the first and only time he has been, I am not sure he would find the playground as enjoyable a second time. It is best suited to preschoolers.

Information

Park Website: (Japanese only) http://www.kamiya-sk.ecnet.jp/index.html#
Skatepark Website: (Japanese only) http://kamiyaskatepark.com/

Access
Address: 707 Kamiya, Kounosu, Saitama 365-0027

Summer Festivals in Saitama July 17th – 20th 2015

What an absolutely fabulous hotchpotch of festivals on offer this weekend. There is something for everyone in Saitama this weekend. From the very traditional, history rich Japanese festivals, to a taste of Brazil in a Summer Carnival. From family friendly children processions to beer garden alcohol laden adult friendly festivals!  The choice is as extensive as it is diverse.

Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals you can enjoy this weekend, with links to more information in Japanese. Please note, that due to typhoon nangka there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 18th

SUmmer Carnival tsurugashima
Image taken fom the Saitama Tourist Office

This colourful carnival, just a minute from Tsurugashima station, is quite different from the traditional festivals at this time of year, but just as fun and vivacious.  This event will take place even it is raining. Image taken from the Saitama’s Tourism Bureau.  More information from the Tsurugashima City Official website here .

Fukiage Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Kounosu City Official website

This local festival in Kounosu is not as well-known or well attended as the Paper Lantern festival, but its a fun day out all the same. There is a portable shrine during the day and an illuminated float at night. You can also enjoy a beer garden. It is held near the Fukiage station on the JR Takasaki line.

More information here.

Sugito Festival

July 18th  and 19th

2014 Flyer from the official website

Sugito is most famous for the Tobu Zoo and amusement park. The town really bands together for their annual festival. There is a fantastic line-up of events over the 2 day festival, including child friendly attractions, even a children’s parade. From the official website: More information here

Honjo Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Honjo Tourism website

This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space.

You can find more information and the schedule on the official website.

Yono Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website.

There are a couple of local festivals in Yono this weekend. You can get more information on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website here.

Yoshikawa Summer Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the offical Yoshikawa website

This 400 year old festival is the pride of Yoshikawa city. It is quite different to other festivals in that it is spread out geographically and does not take place in one central location.  You can find out more on the official website here.

Kazo Festival

July 18th  and 19th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Please keep an eye on their website for updates, as it maybe cancelled due to the typhoon. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 18th – 19th

Image taken from the Sakado city website

It is not as big as some of the other summer festivals this weekend, but there is dance and parading floats. Please check out the official website for more detail on this local Sakado Festival.

Omiya Summer Festival

July 19th

Taken from Saitama Tourism and Internationl Relations Bureau (STIB)

The festival officially starts at 3pm, but the portable shrine progression will start around 5pm. It takes place to the south exit of Omiya station. This event will most likely NOT take place in the event of rain.

Information on the official website; Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

Chichibu Kawase Firework Festival

July 19th – 20th

Chichibu Kawase Festival

This festival is quite hard to get to, but people still come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. It attracts about 40000 people and there are about 300 stalls.  There are also fireworks on the 19th from 20.00. 1300 fireworks will be launched.

This is NOT the official website, but it has the most detail: http://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_festival/1273/

Kagohara Summer Festival

July 19th to 20th

From the official Kumagaya City website

One of two festivals happening in Kumagaya this weekend. This one is much lesser known. It is held near Kagohara station.

More information on the official site here.

Urawa Yosakoi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

This dance and music festival is an all day event, starting from 10 in the morning. It is being held near the JR Minami Urawa Station.There are about 20 stalls at the festival. Generally about 50,000 people come to enjoy the yosakoi dance. More information can be found on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau (STIB).  There is also a festival taking place near Urawa station:

Urawa Mikoshi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

1 of 2 of Urawa’s festivals this Monday, which is a national holiday in Japan.  A “mikoshi” is a portable shrine, carried by many people who have trained for many weeks to carry it in tandem. This festival also has a children’s mikoshi. The mikoshi procession starts at 14.30 near Urawa station.

From STIB Saitama official tourist website: http://www.stib.jp/

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival

July 20th – 22nd

An “uchiwa” is a type of Japanese fan, a much-needed accessory at this time of year in Japan. This festival stems from a custom of distributing free fans in the retail district, that started roughly 100 years ago. It attracts about 750,000 making it one of the biggest festivals this weekend. There are over 300 stalls. The festival starts on a public holiday and goes through to mid-week.

Image taken from the official website: Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri

ENJOY WHICHEVER FESTIVAL YOU ATTEND THIS WEEKEND, and be sure to let us know how you got on.

MORE FESTIVALS COMING NEXT WEEK!

Disaster Prevention Day and free training centres in Tokyo

Today, the 1st of September, is Disaster Prevention Day, on the anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake. This year marks the 90th anniversary of that fatal day in 1923.

This morning the Public Address (PA) System wailed its sirens at 6.30am. These sirens sound like the sirens you hear in World War II movies to signal people to get to bomb shelters. I will never forget the first time I heard the siren, I got the fright of my life as I thought North Korea had invaded. I didn’t realise they use these sirens to signal any sort of disaster or threat or for training. Half an hour after the sirens there were a number of announcements, including a reminder that we could practise evacuating to our nearest safety point today. We didn’t go, but we do know where it is.

By complete co-incidence I had brought the kids to a Disaster Training Centre on Friday. I did not know today was Disaster Prevention Day until this morning when all the Sunday Morning programmes (the only day of the week I watch morning or daytime TV) had a feature on safety and/or how to deal with a natural or manmade disaster. One snippet I watched showed Honjo Disaster Prevention Centre, 本所防災館, in Tokyo. This place looks a lot more interactive than the centre we went to on Friday in Konosu. It has an “urban flooding experiental section” where you can try opening a house door and a car door that has flood water blocking it. You choose how many centimetres of water to try out. They have a smoke maze section, fire fighting room and first aid room just like the one in Konosu has. On the third floor they have a rainstorm simulation section, where they deck you out with full-on rain gear before experiencing torrential rain of the kind you can not move your body and some experimenters said it’s hard to breath. Konosu has basic earthquake and typhoon simulators, but the ones at Honjo 本所防災館 are a lot more life-like. Rinkai 臨海広域防災公園 has an excellent earthquake simulator, where you get to experience an earthquake in an elevator and then escape from a damage-stricken urban area.

The great news is all of these centres are free in and free to use their simulators. For more information on the centre in Konosu, Saitama, please see my blog post An earthquake, a typhoon and a fire all in one day.


Things to do and places to see during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020