The Kasukabe Big Kite Festival is scheduled in 2023, for the first time in four years. The kite was actually flown last year, but only on one day and without spectators or the festival.
Kasukabe Big Kite Festival
The Kasukabe Big Kite Festival is held annually on May 3rd and May 5th. Both of which are public holidays, during Golden Week, in Japan. The festival does not go ahead if there is rain. Furthermore, if it rains on both days the event is held on one day only, usually May 6th. In both 2020 and 2021 the Kasukabe Big Kite Festival was completely cancelled. In 2022, they just raised the kite on May 3rd, but without the festival or spectators. Presumably, it was for the benefit of locals, so they could enjoy the scene from afar.
The big kite festival is particularly popular attracting more than 130,000 spectators annually. More than a hundred people work together to fly the kites made out of paper and bamboo. Moreover, it takes three months to make the kites. They make two large and two small kites annually. The large kites weight 800 kilograms. Furthermore, they are 15 meters long and 11 meters wide. It is usually the largest kite in Japan in a given year.
A free online video of the kite in flight and being made:
If you just want to spectate you don’t normally have to apply in advance and hopefully that will be the same in 2023. The advance registration is to:
- be one of the hundred or so people that fly the kite on either May 3rd or 5th. There is no charge to participate as a kite ‘puller’, but you need to apply by March 31st. Further information on the official site.
- get your child’s name on the kite for the May 3rd event. This special commemoration is only for children born last year (2022). It costs 15000 yen and includes a photo taken in front of Japan’s largest kite. Deadline for application is February 28th. Further information on the official site.
Kasukabe Big Kite Festival Information
Event: Kasukabe Big Kite Festival 春日部大凧あげ祭り
Dates: on the May 3rd and May 5th public holidays annually. If it is raining both days, the event will be held on May 6th instead.
Time: from 11.30 am to 5 pm.
Cost: free (unless you want your child’s name on the kite!)
Venue: Edogawa riverbed of Nishihoshubana, 83 Nishihoshubana, Kasukabe, Saitama 344-0102
You can take an Asahi bus or shuttle bus from Kasukabe station East exit on the Tobu Skytree Line. The bus goes to Seikyado central terminal and you alight at Odako Park. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes on the bus, then about 5 minutes on foot.
The festival takes about an hour to get to from Tokyo by Japan National Route No.4
The nearest interchanges are both about a 25 minute drive away – Iwatsuki Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway and Kashiwa Interchange on the Joban Expressway.
Official event web page for 2023.
For more Golden Week events in Saitama Prefecture.