Safflower in Okegawa 2021

The “Benibana” Safflower Festival of Okegawa.

Just as in 2023, the festival is slightly different to previous years, but not because of the pandemic. But because they are currently building a roadside station in the area of the safflower fields. The construction of which has been delayed several times over the last few years!

Okegawa Safflowers

Okegawa safflowers

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 (pictured in “access”). There are three main safflower fields in Okegawa and a fourth one near the Benibana Furusato Kan. Even the three main ones quite spread out, so they actually run a free shuttle bus between three of the fields for the weekend of the festival only.

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

Safflower Festival 2024

The safflower festival is held annually on a weekend in the middle of June. In 2024, it is on Saturday June 15th and Sunday June 16th. The festival is on between 9.30 am to (the earlier time of) 3 pm on both days. In previous years the main site was the Okegawa Agricultural center, but in 2024 (as in 2022 and 2023) it will be at Shiroyama Park. Although, there are no safflowers in Shiroyama park itself. The park is where the live entertainment and festival stalls will be.

a field of safflowers
The picking field

Two of the safflower fields – the “Picking Field” and “Field A” are within walking distance of Shiroyama park. If you are walking to the “field A” keep an eye out for the stunning hydrangea nearby! The photo below is from “field A”, no filter / edit, on June 20th 2024. The fourth field is quite a distance away, so they don’t highlight it on the festival map. It is beside the Benibana Furusato kan. It used to be a lot larger, but it is just a small field now. Here is the map for the festival, with the three fields plotted.

safflower flowers in Saitama Prefecture June 2024

More information on the main venue:


Benibana Furusato Kan Festival –

The Benibana Furusato kan usually have their own, smaller, festival a week earlier, but the date has not been set for 2024 yet:


Information

Event: The 27th annual Benibana (Safflower) Festival 第27回べに花まつり

Dates: Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of June

Time: 9.30 am to 3 pm

Cost: there is no admission fee (individual events may incur costs)

Venue: Shiroyama Park, 2839-11 Kawataya, Okegawa, Saitama 363-0027. View on Google Maps.

Access the Benibana Festival

The main festival area is at Shiroyama Park.  All parking is also at Shiroyama Park. The south car park is near to the main field, while the east parking is near the picking fields. By car it is 5 minutes from the Okegawa – Kitamoto interchange on the Ken-O Expressway. It takes one hour by car from Tokyo.

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

There is a free shuttle bus to the festival annually, on the days of the festival only, from Okegawa Station’s east exit. There will be one every 20 minutes or so, between 9 am and 3 pm. The bus will stop at the main site, the main safflower field and the picking field.

Also in the area:

Official event web page.

Updated annually. Last republish May 28th 2022, last update May 18th 2024. Okegawa didn’t even grow the safflower in 2020, but in 2021 they did and even penciled in a date for the festival. But ultimately it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Comments are always appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.