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). There are a huge amount of events you can enjoy from traditional floats and music to modern dance. Normally there are festival floats and gourmet too. However, things will be a little different than normal this year. For example, you can’t consume food or drink at the festival sites. They also say you have to download the Cocoa app to enter the festival sites, but the Government are disbanding the app…?
Iruma Mando Festival
Unfortunately, in both 2020 and 2021 the city cancelled the festival due to the pandemic. When they were initially planning for the 2020 festival, they expected more than 200,000 spectators. Its hard to know how many people it will attract this year. It is generally on the third Saturday of October, but this year it is on the fourth Saturday, which is October 22nd.
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 normally enjoy different types of food and even more events. Any food that is sold at the festival in 2022 is for take home only. They are not permitting food or drink consumption in 2022. They even have sumo wrestling demonstrations! However, there is currently no mention of the sumo for the 2022 festival.
Information about the festival 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
Date: Saturday October 22nd
Time: 10 am to 6 pm (roads closed off to vehicles from 9 am to 7 pm)
Cost: free to enter the festival areas
Venue: Hibari and Cha no Hana Streets, Sai no Mori Park and Agricultural culture center.
You can access the festival on foot from Seibu Ikebukuro Line Irumashi station. The main area is about a 15 minute walk. There is currently no mention of an official parking lot for 2022. There is coin parking in Johnson town which is within walking distance of the festival.
All photos from the official website.