Iruma 88 nights tea festival cover photo, Japanese tea picking ladies

Two tea festivals in the first week of May annually: the 88 Nights First tea festival AND the Iruma Tea Festival. The 88 Nights First Tea festival marks the start of the new tea period. Eighty eight 88 nights is translated from the Japanese Hachi Ju Hachi Ya. It means a night that marks the end of the cold frosty nights. Moreover, it is the start of an important stage in the farming calendar. It refers to the 88th day after risshun which is the first day of Spring on the traditional Japanese calendar. Following the 88 nights first tea festival, there is a larger tea festival each year – both in Iruma…

88 nights first tea festival

This date has been used by farmers for the last three centuries. The date is an indication of the time that they can start planting seeds. However, the date is most significant for Green Tea Farmers. Because it is the start of the prime season of picking the new green tea. Or what is called the first tea of the season. The leaves around this time are considered the highest quality.

To mark this important date on the Green Tea farming calendar, Iruma City has a festival on in early May each year. It is often on the 2nd of May, but in 2024 it will be on the 1st of May. You can enjoy the rare opportunity to pick tea as well as some other special events. Often the green tea and city mascots visit, but this year there is no mention of them. But they will have a photo session with green tea ladies, dressed in the traditional picking garb. It is an early morning event, starting at 8.45 am to around 11.30 am.

88 Nights Information

Event: 88 Nights First Tea Festival 八十八夜新茶まつり

Date: Wednesday May 1st 2024

Time: from 8.45 am to 11.30 am

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: Iruma City Hall, 1 Chome-16-1 Toyooka, Iruma, Saitama 358-8511. View on Google Maps.


Iruma City Hall is about a ten to fifteen minute walk from Irumashi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

Official event page 2024

Iruma Tea Festival

Iruma Tea Festival

The Iruma Tea festival is a large festival celebrating Sayama-cha. There is even a festival float at this tea festival! It is usually on May 3rd. This year will be the 43rd anniversary of the festival. There are lots of special events for the occasion. The tea throwing is particularly popular! Much like how they throw beans for the setsubun festival, at Iruma tea festival they throw packets of tea! For free. There will be four “chamaki”, at 9.40 am, 2.10 pm, 3.45 pm and 4.35 pm. They also have taiko performances. You can see the full line up on the official event page, linked below in the information section.

Iruma Tea Festival Information

Event: Iruma Tea Festival 2024 第43回入間茶祭り

Date: Friday May 3rd 2024

Time: from 9.15 am to 5 pm.

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: Kagiyama Street, Iruma City. View on Google Maps.


There is no official parking for this event. They ask that you come by public transport. The nearest station is Irumashi station on the Seibu Ikebukuro line.

Official event page.

Don’t miss the Tea Museum on your visit to Iruma!

More current or upcoming events.

Editor’s note: this post was temporarily removed from the website during the pandemic. 20170425.

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