The Ina Summer Festival and fireworks was one of only a handful of summer festivals and fireworks that were on in 2022. The were celebrating the twenty year anniversary of the town. Both the festival and fireworks are planned for 2023 too. Even though the inauguration of the town was only 21 years ago, the area pre-existed the town. Presumably as a village or domain. So the Ina Festival is actually older than the “town”. This year will be the 33rd annual Ina Festival!
*If you are a long term reader of the blog you know that I often update posts when new information becomes available. However, summer is the one time I cannot update posts in real time as I take a long summer holiday. If I can, I will update this post again in the middle of August, but no promises! The information is similar year on year, but you can check the official website closer to the time. As of July 11th 2023 they only have the date of the festival available.
The summer shindig in Inamachi, “Ina Festival”, is a summer festival with fireworks celebrated annually in August. It is on at Ina Memorial Park. In a normal year, the mikoshi (portable shrines) are a large part of the festival. However, in 2022, one of the biggest changes to the festival was that they did not parade the mikoshi around town, they just displayed them. Presumably, this year will be more like before the pandemic. Unfortunately, as of July 11th 2023, as I update this post, detailed information is not yet available. The only thing we do know is that the festival and fireworks are scheduled for Saturday August 19th.
Another significant change in 2022 was the absence of live performances. Before the pandemic there was bon festival dance that everyone could participate in. In addition, local performers took to the stage to entertain guests with traditional or modern dance or music performances. Furthermore, local children basked in the limelight as they showcased their dance moves or musical talents. All these elements were greatly missed in 2022, but I suspect they will be back in 2023. In addition, in 2022 you could not eat or drink in the park, due to the pandemic. But again, I feel that they will allow both in 2023. That was the case with the rose festival earlier in the year.
Approximately 3000 fireworks will be launched from around 8.10 pm. Unlike in 2022, when I could count on one hand the number of free firework displays that were on, this year there are several fireworks on this summer. However, there are also some that have opted to cancel – such as Kawagoe and Higashimatsuyama.
Event: Ina Festival 伊奈祭り
Date: August 19th 2023. The festival maybe postponed to the following day if there is rain. Generally, most festivals go ahead if there is just light rain and / or showers, but are cancelled if there is heavy rainfall or a typhoon. You can check the official website, linked below, for any last minute cancellations or changes.
Time: 4 to 8.30 pm, fireworks from 7.30 pm
Cost: there is no admission fee.
Location: Ina memorial park 伊奈町制施行記念公園 (Chosei Shiko Koen written on Google as Chosei Seko Memorial Park), 732-1 Kobariuchijuku, Ina, Kitaadachi District, Saitama 362-0801. View on Google Maps.
By public transport: the park is approximately a ten minutes walk from the New Shuttle line Uchijuku station. There are also buses that go from various locations (within Inamachi) for the day of the festival only. You can see the schedule and locations in the above photo. In addition, there are buses from Hasuda Station’s West exit and Okegawa’s east exit called Kenchan bus. However, they are very infrequent at the time on a Saturday so it is advised that you check the schedule here. Alight at Ina Gakuen 伊奈学園 bus stop from Hasuda or Ina Chosei Shiko Kita 記念公園北 bus stop if coming from Okegawa station.
By car: The nearest interchange is the Okegawa-Kano Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. It is about a 12 minute drive away. There is some parking available on the day, but it is extremely limited. They ask, where possible, to come to the festival by public transport. One way system for cars on the day of the festival.