Kazo City Heiwa Festival

The Kazo Citizen’s Peace (Heiwa) Festival is held on May 3rd annually. May 3rd is a national public holiday that falls during Golden Week. The festival is a type of spring festival, but the highlight is the jumbo carp streamer. It is the world’s longest carp shaped windsock. The carp streamer is a symbol of boys day which falls on May 5th. The streamer is lifted by a crane during the festival.

In a normal year more than 100,000 people visit this festival annually. In order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in 2021 the city decided to cancel the festival. However, in 2022, they raised the carp streamer, but the rest of the festival was greatly downscaled. In 2023, for the first time in four years, the festival practically back to normal. BUT they didn’t have the classic car festival, which is normally a regular feature of the festival. Great news for 2024: the classic cars will be back, for the first time in five years.

Jumbo Carp Streamer

Kazo City has been manufacturing carp streamers for more than a hundred years. The jumbo carp was designed and manufactured in 1988 as a public relations stunt for Kazo City, during the Saitama Expo. It had its maiden voyage in 1989! In Japanese they say that the carp streamers “swim”, but I think we are inclined to say “fly” in English. Since 1989 the giant carp takes to the sky annually at the Peace Festival.

In 2021 we couldn’t see the giant streamer in person, but Kazo city shared a video of it in flight from a previous event:

The featured image, at the top of the post, is from the Saitama Prefecture’s English language tourism website.

Festival

The festival is on from 9 am to 2.30 pm. From 9 am there are live performances and an opening ceremony of sorts. The koinobori windsock is raised at 11.30 am. After which there are more stage performances. The windsock is flown again at 1.30 pm. If there is heavy rain on May 3rd they will postpone the raising of the jumbo carp streamer until May 4th.

As above, the classic car festival will also be on in 2024. The flea market is also back in 2024. Its a small flea market with about 15 stalls. As is the “JC Hiroba” children’s area. The only thing that is different to 2019 is there is currently no mention of the ferry ride. However, the ferry ride was only reintroduced in 2019 for the first time in 47 years.

Information

Event: The 15th annual Kazo City Peace Festival (with Jumbo Carp Streamer) 第15回加須市民平和祭(ジャンボこいのぼり遊泳)

Date: May 3rd annually (the flying of the carp streamer is postponed until the 4th if there is rain on the 3rd).

Time: from 9 am at the main venue and from 10 am at the sub venue. Until 2.30 pm at both venues.

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: the main venue is Tonegawa Riverside Green Space Park, 利根川河川敷緑地公園, Ogoe, Kazo, Saitama 347-0001. View on Google Maps.

Access

There is a free shuttle bus annually. The free shuttle bus operates on the day of the festival only, from Kazo Station’s North exit. It goes about every 20 minutes between 8.30 am and 3.40 pm. It takes about 25 minutes to get to Tonegawa Kasenjiki Ryokuchi Park from the station by bus. They advise you take it as early as possible as queues build as the day goes on. There are also a couple of other free shuttle buses for locals, for example, from Kazo Kita Junior High School.

The nearest Interchange is the Kazo Interchange on the Tohoku expressway. They advise where possible to avoid coming by car as the area is very congested. Parking is available along the embankment near the flood control center. However, please note that the land is very uneven, often mucky and you need to use a dirt road to get to it.

Other Golden Week events in Kazo: The excellent Kazo City Kisai Wisteria Festival.

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