Lantern at Gyoda Hachiman shrine

Gyoda Floating lantern and ‘cool’ or summer evening festival or とうろう流し納涼大会 in Japanese. The Gyoda Floating Lantern and Summer Evening Festival is an annual event in Gyoda City. Moreover, it is held on the same date every year – on August 16th. However, between 2020 and 2022 they cancelled the festival due to the pandemic. In 2023, it will be on for the first time in four years.

The featured image is not from this event, it is a lantern at Gyoda Hachiman Shrine.

Gyoda Floating Lantern and Summer Evening Festival

A lot of the festivals in Gyoda have the word “floating” in them, as the Oshi castle – that is the pride and joy of the city – is nicknamed the floating castle. However, floating lantern festivals are very common in Japan in August. They are used to show respect to ancestors. But in Gyoda, the lanterns are also dedicated to those who died for the nation as well as Sankai Banrei, the spirits in the three realms. In addition, the lanterns are for “uenmuen” which is a difficult concept to translate into a few words, sort of like saying for all Buddhists as well as non-Buddhists.

Likewise, there are a lot of “nouryo” or “yusuzumi” evenings in Japan at this year. Both nouryo and yusuzumi convey the image of a ‘cool summer evening’. Thankfully, temperatures have started to drop a bit in the evening this second week of August, but it is still not ‘cool’ by any means! Also, please note that there is a large typhoon on the way, which may lead to a cancellation of the event last minute.

The lanterns are floated on the Oshi River (called Shinobu river on Google Maps) near the Shoei Bridge on the North side of Gyodashi station. Anyone is welcome to buy a lantern to float on the river. In 2023, the samurai troupe that often performs at Oshi Castle will participate in the event. Presumably, they will put on a show!

>>Don’t miss this spectacular monthly event in Gyoda.


Event: Gyoda Floating Lantern and Summer Evening Festival とうろう流し納涼大会

Date: August 16th annually. In 2023 it falls on a Wednesday.

Time: from 6 pm

Cost: a lantern costs 800 yen

Location: Shohei Bridge, Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Plus code: 4FV5+PJ Gyoda, Saitama. View on Google Maps.


Close to the North exit of the Chichibu Railway Gyodashi Station.

Contact: 048-577-8442

Official English event web page

For more summer festivals and events in Saitama, please see the main event category.

I temporarily removed this post from the website during the pandemic as Gyoda City cancelled the festival. I republished it on August 10th 2023.

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