Tokorozawa Dezome Shiki Saitama Prefecture

Dezome Shiki locations in Saitama Prefecture.

Happy New year! The first day of 2020, filled with anticipation and hope. I want to start off the 2020 blog posts with a post related to something I personally feel very deeply about. The work of firefighters. I have a sincere and deep admiration of every single man and woman who is drawn to this honorable vocation.

We try to attend a dezome shiki every year out of respect for fire fighters and gratitude to the fire department. Bonus: it is a really fun family day out! This year’s dezome shiki will have a particular significance to me as during 2019 I had the very great pleasure of volunteering with the Kawagoe Fire Department. (I hope to find some time to write about that – one of my top experiences of 2019).

Dezome is one of the those uniquely Japanese traditions that it can’t be translated into just one word. Literally, it means “first performance”or “debut”. It is usually written with shiki for ceremony. It is most commmonly used for the first fire fighter’s ceremony and celebration of a New Year. For the rest of the article I just use the colloquial term Dezome instead of Dezome Shiki.

It is often translated as a New Year’s parade of firefighters, which kind of fits the bill. But I’ve been to several dezome in Saitama over the years and they a lot of them don’t actually have a parade, but some do. It is more like a blessing followed by a demonstration of the skills and work of fire fighters.

Whatever way you want to describe it, dezome is well worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Even the smallest of dezome have some entertainment and not just a blessing of the fire fighters. Several have ladder acrobatics and most have rescue vehicles on display and some type of rescue demonstration at the very least.

Dezome 2020 and beyond

Here is a list of ten places you can see Dezome in Saitama this New Year and every New Year. The dates will change for some of them New Year, which I will highlight, but some of them have a fixed annual date. The dates in the table below are specifically for 2020.

1. January 5thIruma City
2. January 6thKumagaya City
3. January 7thTokorozawa City
4. January 11th Sayama City
5. January 11thKawajima Town
6. January 12thKawagoe City
7. January 12th Saitama City, Omiya
8. January 12thSakado / Tsurugashima District
9. January 12th Misato City
10. January 13th Asaka City

1. Iruma City Dezome

Iruma Dezome
Clipped from the official website

This is actually one of the Dezome that does have a parade! Each section of the Iruma City Fire Department parade in either their relevant work uniforms or full dress uniform. They have ladder acrobats and water fighting demonstrations at this dezome too. A siren will go off on the morning of the event at 8.30 am to indicate the festival is going ahead.

Date:Sunday January 5th
Time:From 10 am to about noon
Location:Sai no Mori Park Car park (on google maps)
Online:Official event web page on the Iruma City website

2. Kumagaya City Dezome

From the official website

As this dezome is carried out at a shrine, it is a bit different to most other dezome in Saitama Prefecture. They do have the famous ladder acrobatics at this one. You can read more about it in English on the event post for the event on this blog.

Date:Annually on the fixed date of January 6th
Time:From 12.30 to 3 pm
Location:Takashiro Shrine (on google maps)
Online:Official event website

3. Tokorozawa City

From the official website

The Tokorozawa City new year firefighting event is quite a large one with several elements. For any fire engine lovers; there is a parade of the brigade’s vehicles. There is a taiko drum performance and local kindergarten music performance too. It takes place in the beautiful, family friendly and engaging Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park.

Date:January 7th
Time:From 10 am to noon
Location:Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park (on google maps)
Online:Official website

4. Sayama City

Sayama new year fire fighter Kami okudomi undo park

One of at least two fire fighting parades in Sayama City. The main one happens annually on January 4th. This one on January 11th is at Kami Okudomi Undo park along the Iruma river. 14 fire trucks will be on display and there are several demonstrations including one with a helicopter.

Date:January 11th
Time:From 9.30 am
Location:Kami Okadomi Undo Park (on google maps)
Online:Official event website

5. Kawajima Town

Kawajima New Year

Another with a helicopter rescue demonstration is the one in Heisei no Mori Park in Kawajima Town. They have several rescue demonstrations as well as traditional performances such as shishimae. The town’s mascots are also on site for photo ops.

Date:January 11th
Time:From 9 to 11.30 am
Location:Heisei No Mori Park (on google maps)
Online:Official event website

6. Kawagoe City

Kawagoe District Fire Rescue Ambulance fire brigade new year

Kawajima, although its own town, is actually part of the Kawagoe Fire Brigade. The main branch is in Kawagoe. The fire brigade’s new year celebrations takes place in a few areas, with the main area around the Kawagoe City Hall.

Date:January 12th
Time:From 9 to 11 am
Location:Kawagoe City Hall (on google maps)
Online:Official event website

7. Omiya, Saitama City Dezome

Omiya Dezome

Saitama City is the capital of Saitama Prefecture. It used to be called Omiya, which is still an area within Saitama City. The Omiya dezome is, not surprisingly, one of the largest in Saitama prefecture. However, it is not particularly long despite that. It is also one of only a few that takes place at a fire station. You can read more about it on this blog here.

Date:January 12th
Time:From 10 am to noon
Location:Omiya Fire Station (on google maps)
Online:Event information on the Saitama City website

8. Sakado / Tsurugashima Dezome

Sakado / Tsurugashima District Dezome is another large fire fighter ceremony in Saitama Prefecture. It is also one of the longest, starting at 9 am and finishing up around 12.30 pm. They have virtual reality booths as well as several other events not available at other dezome around the prefecture.

Date:January 12th
Time:From 9 am to 12.30 pm
Location: Wakaba Walk (on google maps)
Online: Event information on the Wakaba Walk website

9. Misato

This is the only one that has an English language web page! From the website:

Special performances by the firefighters, Kiyari (work song for carrying heavy logs) and Hashigo-nori (acrobatic performance atop ladders) by Misato Tobi Association (scaffolders), demonstrations by children/ students of municipal elementary / junior high schools, appearance of MIKA+RIKA the Misato City PR ambassador, and more

Misato City website
Date:January 12th
Time:From 9.40 am to 12.30 pm
Location: Misato City Culture Hall (on google maps)
Online: Misato Official website – English language!

10. Asaka City Dezome

The Asaka City firefighters new year celebration takes part around the Asaka City Hall. Like several other of the dezome shiki, it will not go ahead in the event of rain.

Date:January 12th
Time:From 9 am to noon
Location: Asaka City Hall (on google maps)
Online: Asaka Official Website

I hope you can make it to a dezome shiki near you this year. There are a few other that didn’t make it on the list, because they only had very basic information online. For example, Toda City which has its dezome on January 12th. Please note heavy rain and / or snow fall will effect the line up of these events. There may also be cancellations. Please do check with the official websites for any last minute changes.

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New Year Japan dezome shiki fire fighting new year parade


  1. seems somehow an appropriate post considering whats happening here and the incredible courageous work our firies are doing. such a selfless job they do

    1. Absolutely. I don’t think they get enough credit either for all that they do and putting their life on the line daily. Incredible people.

      I am very sorry to hear about more fires in Australia. I hope you and all your family are okay.

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