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. In 2022, things were a little different than normal. For example, you couldn’t consume food or drink at the festival sites. But it is expected that things will be more like normal in 2023. For one, the festival will be on for two days, for the first time in four years.
Iruma Mando Festival
The festival used to be on the third Saturday of October, but since the pandemic its the fourth Saturday and it will also be on the Sunday too. So in 2023, that is Saturday October 28th and Sunday October 29th. Before the pandemic hit, they were expecting approximately 200,000 spectators to attend the 2020 festival if it could have gone ahead. Unfortunately it was cancelled both then and in 2021.
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. Normally, they also have sumo wrestling demonstrations!
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
Event: Iruma Mando Festival 2023 第４３回入間万燈まつり
Date: Saturday October 28th and Sunday October 29th 2023
Time: from noon to 7.15 pm on the Saturday (roads closed until 8.30 pm) and from 9.30 am to 4.45 pm on the Sunday (roads closed until 6 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 2023. There is coin parking in Johnson town which is within walking distance of the festival.
All photos from the official website.