Iruma Mando Festival – Mando or Mandou 万燈 means 10,000 lights and is a type of Japanese lantern. For this, the biggest annual festival held in Iruma, the festival field is decorated with Mandou (pictured). The popularity of the festival is growing year on year and is expected to attract in excess of 200,000 spectators this year. There are a huge amount of events you can enjoy from traditional floats and music to modern dance and gourmet.
Unfortunately, in both 2020 and 2021 the city cancelled the festival due to the pandemic. The next festival, all things being equal, will be October 2022. It is generally on the third Saturday of October. I will update with confirmed details when they become available.
Iruma Mando Festival
The festival is held in different areas of Iruma. Apart from the lanterns there are also festival floats and various different performances. Moreover, there is a flea market where you can enjoy different types of food and even more events. There is also even sumo wrestling demonstrations! From the city’s official English language newsletter in 2016:
“In the festival field decorated with Mando (lanterns with flowers), you will be surrounded by the sounds of drums, bamboo flutes and bells that come from dashi (traditional floats) where masked dancers perform. The music and dance as well as floats themselves are handed down over the generations by various members of the Iruma community. Also, our sister city, Sado, sends a delegation of artists that perform their breathtaking Oni Daiko (dance of ogre with drum) and the Sado Okesa dance. They are seen in every corner of the festival field. Other than those traditional attractions, you and your family will enjoy a flea market (in Sai-no-mori Park), games, various foods, modern dance on stage, and a ladder truck demonstration (near Toyooka Elementary School).”Source: Iruma city printed newsletter, 2016
Iruma Mando Festival Access
You can access the festival on foot from Seibu Ikebukuro Line Irumashi station. It is about a 15 minute walk.
All photos from the official website: