saikasai festival

Saikasai – Asaka City Festival. For the last two years, due to the Olympics, they scheduled the Saikasai festival for Autumn. But in 2022 for the first time in three years, they are planning to have the festival in August again. This festival is on the first Sunday of August and the preceding Saturday and Friday annually. However, they have cancelled the popular firework display to prevent overcrowding.

Saikasai

Due to all this festival has to offer, plus its proximity to Tokyo, as well as the central location only 5 minutes walk from Asaka station, the Saikasai 3 day festival is one of the biggest of Saitama summer festivals. However, in 2021, it was on in Autumn exactly to deter the crowds. It is once again scheduled for dates in August in 2022.

In a “normal” year, it attracts about 650,000 people and it gets great reviews from local and regular attendees. In order to keep the crowds down in 2022 they have decided not to have the fireworks this year. They haven’t released the line up yet, but it is likely there will be other changes to try and keep the number visitors at a reasonable number.

The festival

Saikasai location

The festival takes place around the area of Asaka Central Park and Athletic and Baseball stadiums (beside Asaka City Library). Normally, there are lots of stalls, about 300+ stalls offering festival type food and/or activities. In addition, in a “usual” year, there is a huge variety of attractions including traditional dance, such as yosakoi and various other types of modern and traditional dance.

There are also normally numerous live performances, traditional music and so much more. Another highlight of the festival is the army parade. Furthermore, there is a water play area for children. In addition, the city mascot visits occasionally over the three days. You can view the exact and extensive schedule here when it has been updated closer to the time. At the moment, June 14th 2022, they have not released the schedule yet.

On the middle night of the three day festival, they normally launch about 9000 fireworks (7.15 pm). However, there are no fireworks in 2022. When they are on, they open the stadium in the park (pictured above) before the fireworks so it is possible for everyone to get somewhere to sit and enjoy the show. (Thanks to C.S and A.N for the information).

2022 Saikasai Information

Dates: Friday August 5th, Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th

Times: tbd

Cost: free to spectate, individual events may have charges

Location: Various, such as Asaka central park, and Asaka, Kita Asaka, Asakadai stations. They have two main venues: “Asaka Venue” and “Kita Asaka Venue”.

Access

The festival can be accessed from both Tobu Tojo line Asaka and Asakadai stations or the Kita Asaka station on the JR Musashino Line. The Asaka venue is close to Tobu Tojo Asaka station. And the Kita Asaka venue is near the Tobu Tojo Kita Asaka and JR Musashino Kita Asaka stations.

Images below and featured image (at top of page) from the official website:

saikasai_2016_001
saikasai_2016_003
saikasai_2016_015
saikasai_2016_006

An overview of the elements of the festival in English at the official website here . Japanese information here.

For more summer festivals and seasonal events in Saitama please see the main events category.

First published August 1st 2017. Updated annually. Last republish June 14th 2022. All information was accurate, to the best of my knowledge, at the time of publishing. Please check the official website for the most recent information and for any last minute changes or cancellations.

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