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**During the 2021 State of Emergency and Coronavirus Outbreak, events are subject to change and cancellation at a moment’s notice. Please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes or cancellations.**

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Honjo Gion Festival in 2021

July 17, 2021 @ 10:00 July 18, 2021 @ 19:00

Honjo Gion Festival – This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. However, in 2020 the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Honjo Festival from the official site
Honjo Festival from the official site

It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space. From the official English webpage of Honjo;

The ritual of Honjo Gion Matsuri began with the carriage of a mikoshi (portable shrine) at Yasaka Shrine in Dai-machi for warding off the plague. Other than the mikoshi carriage, the dedication of “Daimachi-no-Shishimai (lion dance)” designated as an intangible ethnic cultural heritage by Saitama Prefecture is performed.

At the time of writing the hours and detailed schedule for 2019 has not yet been decided.

Honjo Gion Festival Access

About a 5 minute walk from Honjo Station, around the Nakasendo highway center 1 chome intersection. You can find more information and the schedule on the official website. Information in English is also provided. For more events in Saitama, please see the main events calendar.


July 17 @ 10:00
July 18 @ 19:00
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Honjo station

Ekinan, 2 Chome−1
Honjō-shi, Saitama-ken, 〒367-0041 Japan
+ Google Map

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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, particularly with the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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