Lavender Kuki at the Blue Festival

Information for the Blue Festival – iris and lavender flowers – in 2024 in Kuki City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Kuki Blue Festival

No, it’s not missing an “s” and its nothing to do with music; the blue festival in Kuki is in celebration of “blue” flowers that bloom at this time of year. However, in all truth, the flowers it celebrates are more purple than blue! The Blue Festival combined and replaced two long running flower festivals – the Iris festival at Shobu Castle and a Lavender festival in the Shobu area.

The “festival” is held annually in June (except in 2020 and 2021 due to you know what). In 2024, the festival is on from Sunday June 9th and runs until Sunday June 23rd. The main area of the festival is around the Kuki City hall Shobu branch office car park, which is where the lavender is. (All locations on a Google Mymap at the bottom of the post)

Events

The event dates really indicate the period of the bloom rather than an actual event in the typical sense of the word. However, on the opening day, June 9th, they will have festival stalls and live performances in the area of the Kuki City Hall Shobu Branch Office. Normally there are dance performances, such as yosakoi, and live music including taiko drum performances. But they have not divulged the line up for 2024, not yet anyway. They used to have some other events on the other weekends during the festival period, but not since the pandemic. Currently they have nothing scheduled, but who knows, they may add some more events at a later date.

Information

Event: Blue Festival 2024 第30回あやめ・ラベンダーのブルーフェスティバル

Date: Sunday June 9th and runs until Sunday June 23rd 2024.

Time: 10 am to 3 pm (but viewing is 24 hours)

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: various, see next paragraph (access is below the map)

Blue Festival Kuki Locations

Shobu Castle Iris Castle, Kuki City Hall Shobu Branch Office (main festival site), Shobu branch office lavender fields, Shirasagi Park mapped:

Access

The festival area is approximately a seven minute drive from the Shiraoka Shobu exit of the Ken-o expressway. There is a small free car park that fits around 10 cars at Shobu Castle. Before the pandemic they had parking for the festival, for up to 700 cars, at the nearby Shobu Junior High School. However, since the parking has been halved with just parking for around 350 cars at the Shobu Branch Office.

By public transport, pre pandemic there was a special bus and temporary bus stop during the period of the festival only. However, that has not been available since 2019. You can get a regular “Asahi” bus from either Kuki Station or Okegawa station. The bus from JR Takasaki Line’s Okegawa station (east exit) stops at the Shobu Castle Garden. The main festival area is about a ten minute walk from the iris garden.

The official website has not yet been updated for 2023 (as of May 22nd)

Check out even more Iris locations here. And Saitama’s largest lavender field here.

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