The 56th annual Hojo Festival in Yorii will take place this coming Sunday between 9 am and 3 pm. The festival is celebrated each year in remembrance of the great Hojo battle of 1590. 50,000 spectators will come to see the recreation of the famous battle with about 500 actors in Samurai traditional costume. The battle is renowned, because General Hojo held position at Hachigata Castle with just 3,500 warriors against 50,000 of the Toyotomi army who invaded Odawara in 1590.
There is also a food festival held simultaneously in the same area on the day. The event will be cancelled only if there is heavy rain.
Ten minutes on foot to the Tamayodo riverbank area from JR, Tobu Tojo Line, Chichibu Railway’s Yorii Station. You can get a Steam Locomotive train, the Paleo Express, back to Kumagaya after this festival from the Yorii station on the Chichibu Railway Line. Please note that you would need to book a reserved ticket fast (in advance) to secure a place. From Kumagaya you can get a shinkansen to Tokyo, it takes about 40 minutes.
Map, URLs and contact in the grey detailed box below.
Traditional festival in a rural setting. Festival music, a variety of floats, a parade and stalls. From 3 pm to 8.20 pm on Saturday the 5th and from 3.30 pm to 7.50 pm on Sunday the 6th.
90 minutes from Ikebukuro on the Tobu Tojo Line, 40 minutes from Chichibu and 30 minutes from Kumagaya on the Chichibu Tetsudo line. It is ten minutes on foot from Chichibu Railway, TOBU Railway, JR Yorii Station.
All photos from the official website linked in details section.
This weekend Yorii town is celebrating a 2 day Autumn festival. The festival is held every year on the 1st Sunday of November and its proceeding Saturday, which this year happens to fall on October 31st.
It starts at 3.30pm on Saturday the 31st with 7 floats of lanterns accompanied with Japanese traditional festival music played on whistles and taiko drums. The following day, Sunday the 1st of November, the floats will also parade through town and try to outdo each other in their music performances. Sunday celebrations start from 11am.
I found this video online from 2010. (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to this youtube account).
Yorii is a small rural town, but is easily accessible from the Kanetsu highway. It is home to the Saitama Museum of Rivers, but is probably better known for its “Le Petit Prince” themed parking area.
Saitama Museum of Rivers is located in Yorii town. It is home to the largest water mill in Japan. It has a number of facilities available under the general admission price including their main educational hall where children can learn about rivers in general as well as river dams, transport,
trivia, the role of rivers through history and specific information about the rivers in Saitama. You can also pay extra to enjoy the “waku waku land“, water adventure park, or watch a film in their adventure theater, which is a virtual simulated theater.
General admission gives you access to the museum itself (including outdoor displays and some events), the small aquarium on the lower ground floor, wading and splash pools and a unique music pad that jets water as you play with your feet. The museum runs a number of events and interactive displays as well as housing a library. The workshop room in the main display area often has free crafts for the kids to enjoy.
In the aquarium the children are free to touch and hold turtles. The water in the splash pool is only 5 cm high so suitable for small children. They are allowed enter with nappies / diapers. The splash pools are open from the last week in March until mid- November. There is plenty of green space to rest or set up a picnic. They added a climbing wall in the area in front of the turtle aquarium this year. There is a shop and restaurant on the premises. There are changing cubicles and lockers beside the free splash pool.
General admission is reasonable at 410
yen per adult and 200 yen for children over the age of 15. Young children and teenagers up to 15 years old are free in.
WAKU WAKU LAND
For an additional charge you can enjoy the water adventure park for one hour. About half the equipment is on water, but the kids don’t necessarily have to get wet, but I do recommend you bring a spare pair of clothes. It costs 210 yen per adult, 100 yen per child from 4 to 15 years old. Children under 4 years old are free. The times are fixed. There are 7 sessions during the summer at 9.30, 10.40, 11.50, 13.00, 14.10, 15.20 and 16.30.
Photo Gallery of some of the equipment in the water adventure playground.
For further information and up-to-date prices and schedules please see the official website –
For those coming by car the phone number for your Satnav is 048-581-733 or the address is 39 Kozono, Yorii Town, Saitama. It is 7 minutes from the Hanazono exit of the Kanetsu expressway. Parking is 300 yen for the day.
Another interesting museum in the Kanto area centered around a water theme is the Tokyo Water Science Museum in Koto-ku. From “Best Living Japan”:
The Tokyo Water Science Museum – Free Hands-on Educational Fun!
The Tokyo Water Science Museum is a great FREE hands-on, educational museum – a great spot to take the kids on a hot, rainy or cold day. The museum takes