Find out what’s on in Saitama this weekend with the best Saitama event list on the web. If its on in Saitama, its on insaitama.com!
Please see the grey “details box” at the bottom of each individual event for dates, hours, prices, location and external links.
CANCELLED (Coronovirus) Boat Ride on Shingashi River Hikawa Shrine
April 4 @ 11:30 - 18:00Free
Cherry Blossom Boat Ride, Night light up and river of pink petals at Shingashi River at the back of Hikawa Shrine
The tentative date for the Cherry Blossom Boat Ride down the Shingashi River at the back of Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine has been set for Saturday April 4th 2020. News that they are cancelling this event due to the Coronavirus outbreak came through on February 28th 2020.
Anyone who follows this event annually knows that the date often changes due to the condition of the sakura (cherry blossom) and / or the weather. And in 2017, the event was even cancelled last minute due to snow. Please check in again nearer the date for any changes.
🌸Update… 28/02/2020 15:00 NEWS JUST IN THE EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. 🌸
Until recent years it was mainly locals and off-the-beaten-track tourists who enjoyed this magnificent event, but nowadays the boat ride down Shingashi river in Kawagoe attracts hundreds, if not thousands from near and far. Due to this reason, you need to queue to get one of the golden tickets that will secure you passage on a short, but FREE boat ride under the blossoms.
Before and after the event, you can still enjoy the sight of a man in a festival happi coat and a traditional sugegasa hat driving the boat down the river, but it is only once a year that the Cherry Blossom Boat Ride is open to the general public and free.
You can also enjoy the cherry blossoms lit up at night (until 10 pm) while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. As the cherry blossom petals start to fall, the Shingashi river becomes even more beautiful as it turns pink.
Please scroll down to the grey box for time and official website. Access details below the photo ↓
Cherry Blossom boat ride tickets
The Kita Kominkan where the tickets are distributed
The full details for 2020 have not yet been released, but it is expected that it will be the same as previous years: the tickets will be distributed, subject to availability, in front of the Kita Kominkan on the far side of the bridge to the Hikawa shrine back entrance. (MyMap below with area marked in pink).
The tickets are usually distributed to the first 700 customers in line from 9 am on the morning of the ride. A maximum of 2 tickets will be given to a person in line. Children too small for a life vest are not allowed ride (generally speaking under 6 years old). It is forbidden to queue from the previous night. The place of distribution, Kita Kominkan, is marked on a Google My Map below.
Some photos of Shingashi River in 2016.
Cherry Blossom Boat Ride Information
At Hikawa Shrine
Address:2-11-3 Miyashitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0052
Access from Kawagoe Station
Koedo Kawagoe bus one day pass allows you unlimited travel on the Koedo Kawagoe buses. It costs 300 yen. In the bus they have a monitor with sightseeing information. Some tourist places give discounts on souvenirs or entrance tickets to people with a one day pass.
Koedo Meguri (Loop) Bus from Kawagoe station. You can buy a one day pass that allows you unlimited travel on the Meguri Bus. It stops at 16 different locations. 104 different shops, offer discount services such as souvenirs, food, and entrance fees to facilities for holders of this day pass. There are announcements in English and Chinese as well as Japanese so foreigners can feel at ease. More information here:
Shingashi River and the free parking area:
Kawagoe Access by train from Tokyo and Omiya
- 31 minutes from Ikebukuro on a express train on the Tobu Tojo Line. 470 yen
- 44 minutes from Seibu Shinjuku on a Red Arrow Limited Express. 420 yen for the express ticket, plus base fare.
- 66 minutes from Shinjuku or 62 minutes from Takadanobaba on Seibu Shinjuku Line. You can buy one round trip ticket for 700 yen for either of those stations.
- 54 minutes from JR Shinjuku on a rapid train of the Saikyo/Kawagoe line. 760 yen.
- 28 minutes on a regular train from Omiya on the Saikyo/Kawagoe Line or 22 minutes on the rapid train.
- The Fukutoshin and Yurakucho subways connect to the Tobu Tojo line at Wako-shi. Some of them go all the way to Kawagoe (and beyond) too.
Access by Car
About 21 kilometres from Nerima to Kawagoe using the Kanetsu Expressway. The toll for the expressway is about 840 yen.
About 40 kilometres from Hinode using the Ken-o highway. The toll is about 1400 yen.
More on Hikawa Shrine on this blog:
**PLEASE NOTE, as with all events, changes may occur due to weather or blossom conditions. Please do check the official website, provided in the grey details box at the bottom of the post, for updates before your departure.**
Another place you can take a boat under cherry blossoms is Fukiage in Konosu:
Events by their very nature are tentative. Please do check with the official sources for any last minute changes due to weather or other mitigating factors.