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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!

**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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Nagatoro Autumn Leaves Festival and the “Go To Nagatoro” campaign 2020

October 1 November 30

Nagatoro Autumn leaves

The best time to view Autumn leaves in Nagatoro is generally November. Stretching 6 kilometers along the Ara river from Iwadatami, resplendent fall colours decorate the Nagatoro Valley. Trees include Momiji, Kunugi and Oak. Taking the famous Kudari line down the river is a great way to take in the view. Jump to Go To Campaign.

Nagatoro Autumn Leaves Festival

Coinciding with the stunning fall foliage there is usually an annual Nagatoro Valley Autumn Leaves Festival. Normally it is a month long autumn leaf / foliage / fall color viewing period celebrated annually from November 1st to 30th. However, in 2020 on account of the Coronavirus, things are different to normal.

Mt Hodo Shrine light up, Ropeway Sunset ride

Hodosan Plum Blossom Festival Nagatoro Ropeway
The Nagatoro Hodosan Ropeway “Bambi”

Not all of the usual Autumn festival has been suspended, there are two parts of it going ahead as normal. They will light up the shrine on Mt Hodo and there will be a Hodosan Ropeway Sunset ride. However, they have not yet released the information on the dates for 2020. If it follows previous years schedule it will start from November 1st.

 ・県立自然の博物館 カエデの森ライトアップ(県立自然の博物館)


From the official Nagatoro Tourism website

Cancelled events

The following two events have been cancelled, but you can still admire the autumn leaves during the day.

  • Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park. This is one of the areas that normally has an autumn leaves light up event, but has been cancelled for 2020. Tsukino Ishi Momiji park normally has an admission fee of 200 yen for the peak period of the autumn festival. As the festival is not on, it remains to be seen if they will still charge or not. As you can still see the beautiful leaves in the park (all things equal) even without a festival, I would think they have every right to charge! Please do check with the official website for any last minute changes due to the coronavirus and / or weather.
  • Saitama Museum of Natural History, also usually has night light up that has been cancelled for 2020. At the moment the museum is open and the gardens can be admired. However, they are limiting the number of people that are allowed on the grounds at the same time. Supposedly the wait time on Saturdays and Sundays is quite long. Their website states “Depending on the waiting situation, you may not be able to enter the museum on the day you [hope to] visit”. The museum is only 10 minutes from the station.
Nagatoro autumn leaves

The above image and the featured image at the top of post (in thumbnail view) are used with gratitude and taken from the Nagatoro Tourism website. 提供:一般社団法人長瀞町観光協会, 写真)一般社団法人長瀞町観光協会提供

Go To Nagatoro Campaign 2020

I’ve got to be frank here. I really don’t get it. They have (for the most part) cancelled the Autumn leaves festival, yet they currently have a “Go To Nagatoro Campaign”. Paradoxical much? And from October 1st they are stepping it up a notch.

As part of the campaign both the ropeway and Mt Hodo Zoo will be free for children on weekends in September, October and November. (Two children can go free to every one adult).

From October 1st they will be giving the first 10,000 visitors to participate in outdoor activities (in participating places) in Nagatoro. If you visit any of the places in the photo above you can get 1000 yen worth of gift vouchers (2 x 500 yen coupons) that can be used in several locations. Those locations mapped hereafter or PDF here:


electric locomotive paleo express passing through arakawa roadside station

The area’s starting point is just 5 minutes on foot from the Chichibu Railway Nagatoro Station. Please note that the Paleo Express this year is an electric locomotive. The steam locomotive was decommissioned for 2020 for routine maintenance.

By car, it is 3.2 kilometers from the Minano Nagatoro Interchange of the relatively new Minano Yorii bypass.

For more Autumn events in Saitama, please see the main event pages.


Chichibu District,, Saitama 369-1300 Japan
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October 1, 2020
November 30, 2020
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Nagatoro Tourism

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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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