The “Hanachozu Week” in Gyoda often features on local and even national news, as well as on social media platforms. The “Hanachozu Week” is actually two weeks long monthly. It is usually on the first two weeks of each month. However, in November it is on the last two weeks so there is a month long hanachozu ‘week’ from Monday November 15th to Thursday the 14th of December.
During the period of the hanachozu “week” there are dozens of “hanachozu” floral water fonts (or sometimes called floating flowers) around Gyoda. Various shrines, shops and even cafes participate. But it seems to be less known that once a month they light the floral fonts up at night. The event actually started in 2020, but it was only made into a regular reoccurring event in 2021.
As you can see on the map below, there are about 50 places that display floating flowers during the Hanachozu week. Below the map you will find a selection of seven, of which the first five are also recommended by Gyoda tourism association. They are marked by the larger sized, deeper colored flower marks on the map below.
Walking map of the floral fonts (daytime):
A selection of 7
For one night during the period of the hanachozu week three locations participate in a light up event: Oshi Castle, Sakitama Shrine and Gyoda Hachiman Shrine. It is on once a month from dusk to 8 pm. (Or 8.30 pm when there is no restrictions due to the pandemic). Generally speaking the light up is on the first Saturday of the month, but there are some exceptions. The dates for the 2021 fiscal year (April 2021 to March 2022) are:
- April 3rd
- May 1st
- June 5th
- July 3rd
August 7thcancelled due to the State of Emergency September 4thalso cancelled due to the State of Emergency
- October 2nd
- November 20th
- December 4th
- January 15th
- February 5th
- March 5th
The nearest station is Gyodashi station on the Chichibu Tetsudo line. The station is close to some of the locations, but some of them are further out. As such it is quite a walk if you want to see them all, so comfortable shoes are advised!
If you are coming by car, there is free parking at several locations including at the Gyoda City Hall, Sakitama Shrine and Gyoda Hachiman Shrine. For the daytime fonts, Gyoda City Hall is quite central and within walking distance of many of the main floral font locations. For the night time events you can park at each of the three sites.