The International Fureai Fair is held around the east exit area of Urawa Station. It was cancelled in 2021 and in 2020 due to the pandemic, but they had an online event. But it was on last year, as I shared here at the time, and is once again scheduled for 2023. Fureai has a meaning similar to ‘exchange’ (or ‘interaction’) in English, so the event could be called International Exchange Fair. Indeed the purpose of the fair is to facilitate exchange between people irrespective of nationality or language. Moreover, it introduces the culture of Saitama City’s sister / friendship cities in America, Canada, China, Mexico and New Zealand.
International Fureai Fair
There are normally several booths from different countries. Normally these booths sell food and / or drink from the country they are representing. In 2022, there were less food stalls and they were take out only. Also, there was nowhere to sit down and eat, unlike before the pandemic. In 2023, it is expected to be more like before the pandemic.
There are usually live performances from around the world too. Some of the performances include international dance performances. I can’t remember what the acts were in 2019 or 2018, but in 2017 for example, they had Bollywood Dance from India, Belly Dance, African Dance and Samba too. They normally have, at the very least, a hula dance performance. If you are reading this before September 6th 2023 – they will take applications for participants until the 6th!
This was the flyer for the last event in 2019. I haven’t been able to find one yet for 2023. There may not be one, even online, as was the situation with many fairs and festivals in 2022. Although, most places have been making flyers and information readily available online since spring 2023.
International Fureai Fair Exchange Corner
This section has not yet been confirmed for 2023. In the fureai corner you can normally try traditional clothes from different cultures. There is usually face painting too. They have had “lotto” in the past. Lotto is much like Bingo. In 2017 it was at two different times during the day; once in the morning, once in the afternoon. They had a Pinata that year too at two different times during the event.
Date: Sunday October 8th 2023, if there is bad weather on the day the event will be postponed until Monday the 9th, which is a public holiday.
Time: tentative for 2023 – 11 am to 4 pm.
Cost: there is no admission fee. Food and drink have varying prices.
Venue: JR Urawa Station East exit Citizen’s plaza. 10-1 Higashitakasagocho, Urawa Ward, Saitama, 330-0055. View on Google Maps.
The fair is held at the Citizen’s plaza of Urawa Station in front of the Parco.
Official website (which has not yet been updated for 2023 as of September 1st 2023).