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 are going to raise the carp streamer, but the rest of the festival has been greatly downscaled. There is also a chance that they will decide not to raise the Jumbo Carp Windsock last minute. Please check for the most recent updates on the official website.
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 is from the Saitama Prefecture’s English language tourism website.
In 2022, the festival is only on in the morning, from 9 am to noon. If there is heavy rain on May 3rd they will postpone the raising of the jumbo carp streamer until May 4th.
Apart from the streamer there are normally other festivities at the event annually. For example, there is normally a flea market, festival stalls, children’s entertainment and live performances, to name but a few of the attractions. In 2019 they added a ferry ride for the first time in 47 years. Unfortunately, it looks like that won’t be back in 2022. Moreover, the flea market has been cancelled and there will be no festival stalls. Also, the “JC Hiroba” children’s area is not available in 2022. They have also made changes to access:
There is a normally a free shuttle bus on the day of the festival 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. However, in 2022, there won’t be a free shuttle bus.
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. There is normally parking available along the embankment near the flood control center. However, in 2022, they are reducing the size of the available parking. Normally, they have parking for 1500 cars, but they have not yet revealed how much parking will be available in 2022.
Other Golden Week events in Kazo: