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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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Tanabata Festival with wind chimes and Chinowa Kuguri at Hikawa Shrine

August 4 - August 7


The Tanabata Festival (Star Festival) is held from August 4th to August 7th annually in Hikawa Shrine Kawagoe.  They have a Wind Chime event simultaneously. This year, 2020, on account of the Coronavirus they are not opening the religious services to the public, just priests, but they will have the strips of paper out for you to write your wishes on. Moreover, this year, they will also have chinowa kuguri from July 31st to August 6th, so it will overlap with the star festival event for three days.

By the by, if you do visit, you might want to take a photo of the Kawagoe Hikawa Kaikan. It is being teared down in August to be replaced with a smaller kaikan. The rest of the area will be transformed back into the wooded lands it once was.

The shrine is decorated beautifully with bands of colour from the Tanabata wish strips. You can enjoy the decoration all day and add your own wish to the bamboo trees, but the festival itself is in the evening from 6 pm on August 7th. They read kamishibai and have music and dance including shakuhachi flute performances. However, they do not plan to have this element in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

Writing wishes on coloured strips of paper for Tanabata festival:

The strips of coloured paper laid out for anyone to write and hang their Star Festival wishes:

For more details on the wind chimes at Hikawa Shrine:

Wind Chimes event at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine 2020


Hikawa Shrine by night during the summer

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine by night


Access Tanabata Festival at Kawagoe 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 Kawagoe Loop BusKoedo 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:
Map in the grey details box at the very bottom of the post.


For more events in Saitama, please see the main events calendar.

Moved to the events calendar in 2016 and updated annually. Republished in September 2019.


August 4
August 7
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Hikawa Shrine
2 Chome-11-3 Miyashitamachi, 宮下町
Kawagoe-shi,, Saitama-ken 350-0052 Japan
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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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