I’m sorry to report that the Iruma Air Show has been cancelled. Just like some dezome shiki, the event has been cancelled due to the earthquake on January 1st. The press release (translated), January 9th 2024:

Iruma Air Base is conducting various disaster relief activities in response to the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred on January 1, 2024. Therefore, we have decided to cancel the Iruma Air Festival scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 20, 2024, in order to give priority to concentrating on this activity.

In addition, the Wajima Branch Base (located in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture), which is a member of the family of this base (Chubu Air Warning and Control Group), is doing its best to carry out activities despite being affected by the disaster itself, and other family members (of the Air Self-Defense Force) We work together with our colleagues to support and accomplish our mission.

I’m sure many of you were looking forward to the arrival of Blue Impulse, but we hope you understand these circumstances.

We apologize for the late notice, and thank you for your understanding and cooperation if you are considering attending the event.

Iruma ASDF

The Iruma Air base air show normally happens annually on the 3rd of November. Even in 2022 when there were still measures against COVID spreading it was held on that date. However, in 2022 it was nothing like a usual year. Furthermore, you had to apply in advance to participate and the numbers were very limited. Moreover, they did not have the Blue Impulse flight display, which is normally the highlight of the air show. This year (2023) they have decided not to have the air show on the usual date of November 3rd, which is a public holiday in Japan for Culture Day. Instead they are having the 2023 air show in 2024! But it actually has nothing to do with the pandemic…

The 2023 Iruma Air Show is on in 2024!

This is a popular event that attracts between 100,000 (bad weather day) and 200,000 (good weather day) spectators annually. Last year, they limited the number of people who could visit. Which by and large the public was understanding of. However, many people complained that there was no display of the Blue Impulse planes like normal. Reportedly, this year (2023) the Blue Impulse planes have been booked for other air festivals around Culture Day, so the organizers decided that this year they’ll postpone the event until January 20th 2024, to ensure the participation of the hugely popular Blue Impulse planes at the Iruma Air Base Show. The Blue Impulse show is from 1.05 pm to 2.10 pm.

Iruma Air Show
Blue impulse normally perform, but currently they are NOT planning a Blue Impulse demo in 2022

For many years we watched this show from Aina Water Park. The park is near enough to the base to have a view, but far enough away that we didn’t get caught up in the people and vehicular traffic. The beauty of such a location is not only that you are away from the throngs, but that you can also picnic* at the same time and the kids had lots of space to run around. Disclaimer: there are no guarantees that you can see the show from Aina Water Park annually.

(*Once upon a time, you could barbecue in the park too, but that has been forbidden for several years now).

Furthermore, the benefit of watching it from the base (other than having a guaranteed view, weather permitting) is that are also food stalls and other attractions. Moreover, you can normally enter the base from as early as 8 am. The event itself is generally from 9 am to 3 pm.

Information

Event: Iruma Air Show 入間基地航空祭2023年

Date: Saturday January 20th 2024 Cancelled, see quote at the top of the post for details.

Time: from 9 am to 3 pm, Blue Impulse from 1.05 pm to 2.10 pm.

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: Iruma Air Base which straddles both Sayama and Iruma. 2 Chome-3 Inariyama, Sayama, Saitama 350-1324. View on Google Maps.

Access the Iruma Air Base Air show

You can normally get a special bus from either Inariyama Koen station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line or from Sayama Station on the Seibu Shinjuku line. (Inariyama Park also features on this blog here). That information is not yet available for 2024.  

Official Iruma Air Base website

You can also usually get information in Japanese on the Fly Team website.

Other air base events on this blog:

Kumagaya Air Base annual cherry blossom festival

Iruma Air base Summer evening festival 

2016.10.22

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