Safflower in Okegawa 2021

The “Benibana” Safflower Festival of Okegawa for 2021 was scheduled for Saturday June 19th and Sunday June 20th. However, the event has been cancelled in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The event was also cancelled in 2020. Moreover, in 2020 they didn’t even grow the safflowers. I don’t know yet if all the fields grew safflower this year, but the safflower picking field on the border of Ageo did. The featured image was taken at that field on June 14th 2021.

Official cancellation notification.

Benibana safflower festival manhole cover
©insaitama.com Safflower Manhole Cover in Okegawa

Safflowers are the flowers of Okegawa. Even the city’s mall is named after the flower: Apita’s Benibana Walk. Furthermore, you can find Safflower Manhole covers in the city too. And In addition, even the bus has safflower motifs on it. Unfortunately, in 2020 they didn’t even grow the safflowers. However, I am happy to confirm though, that at least one of the fields did grow their safflower this year. I will try and drop by the other fields in the coming days to see if they grew their “benibana” flowers.

Safflower festival okegawa go bus
By 金士明 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4521480

2019 Event Information

 

Safflower Festival

The safflower festival is held on a weekend in the middle of June. Normally, the festival takes place between 9.30 am to 4 pm on both days. On both the 15th and 16th (2019 information) they have food stalls and children’s attractions at the Okegawa Agricultural center. In addition, there are stage events scheduled to, but due to the bad weather there maybe changes. Moreover, the festival is free, but a few of the events are charged. For example, you can pay to try a toy drone or for 100 yen you can pick some of the safflower.

The festival is celebrated in different parts of Okegawa. But there are three different safflower fields.  However, the main festival area is at the Okegawa Agricultural center. One of the safflower fields is close to here and you can also experience picking the flowers for a nominal fee in this particular field. Moreover, that flower field is opposite the Shiroyama Park, which is a lovely park for children. The other area is the Benibana Furusato Kan near the Okegawa Kano Interchange of the ken-o expressway, mapped in the photo below.

Access the Benibana Festival

The main festival area is at the Okegawa Agriculture center which is near to Shiroyama Park. Please note in 2021 that area is quite inaccessible as they are prepping to build a roadside station in the area. You can park in Shiroyama Park’s south car park and walk over. Look out for the stunning hydrangea on the way.

The Agriculture center is an approximate 15 minute bus ride from Okegawa Station’s West exit. Take a bus for Kawagoe Station 川越駅 and alight at Kawataya shisho Bus Stop 川田谷支所.

By car it is 5 minutes from the Okegawa – Kitamoto interchange on the Ken-O Expressway. It takes one hour by car from Tokyo.

Also in the area:

Official event webpage.

For more events in Saitama, please see the main events calendar.

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