Children's festival heisei no mori park Kawajima rose festival

The daes for the 2023 Kawajima Spring Festival have been confirmed. The festival was on in 2022 too, for the fifty year anniversary of Kawajima Town. However, it was a low key event, or at least not the full complement of previous years. Actually, the “Kawajima Spring Festival” is relatively new, but it is modelled on an older festival that was hugely popular until it was abolished in 2018. Before the festival became the spring festival, there were two festivals annually at Heisei no Mori park in Kawajima in May. A hugely popular children’s day festival on May 5th and then later in the month a rose festival. They merged them into one “spring festival” in 2019.

Fish catching event heisei no mori park
Crowds lining up for the very popular fish catching event at Heisei no Mori children’s festival

The children’s day festival was a particularly good festival for families with lots of activities for kids. The spring festival now offers similar, on the main weekend of the seven day festival. There are inflated play areas for kids as well as various crafts and activities, some of which are outlined below. Without a doubt, the most popular is the mammoth fish catch / grab event in the fountain! In addition, the festival also has live performances, kitchen cars and a market. Normally, the water play area (a particularly nice one) is open when the festival is on, but most parks have not turned the water on since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, it maybe the same in 2023.

Kawajima Spring Festival

Boat ride on the lake at Children's Festival Kawajima
Boat ride on the lake at Children’s Festival Kawajima

The 2023 Kawajima Spring Festival will be on from Monday May 15th to Sunday May 21st from 10 am to 3 pm. The festival attracts mainly locals, but they come out in force and the park is extremely lively on the day. There is a great atmosphere and although we have only been a handful of times it was one of my kids favourite festivals when they were small children.

Fish catching at Kawajima Spring Festival

Fish catching event heisei no mori children's festival
Dozens of primary school aged children trying to catch fish

One of the highlights of the festival normally is the extremely popular FREE fish catching event in the park’s large pond. The fish are released into the pond and children catch them by any means they can. They get to bring the fish home. The pond is separated into three parts and they use two of them. The larger segment is used for older children and another section is used for children of preschool age or younger. The latter only has about 20 ~ 30 centimeters of water. This was not available in 2022. Information for 2023 not available yet.

Smaller pond for smaller children to catch fish

If the fish catching event is on: you would need to bring something for the children to catch and hold the fish in. However, the staff usually have a few spare large bags for the children to use. There are a lot of volunteer staff and even a couple of police that supervise this event. I recommend you bring a towel and change of clothes, at least bottom wear, as the children will get at least their legs wet. Be warned; if your children are anything like mine, once your child participates in this event they will want to go every year!

Live performances at the Spring Festival

Ultraman character show heisei no mori park kawajima spring festival

Live performances include music performances by children and adults alike. My kids actually performed at this festival once! That was back when they were looking to become the next Corrs!! Now the older two are in one band and the younger two are in another band! I digress; there is also a character show and in previous years they had music and dance too. There was no live performances in 2022 and information not yet available for 2023.

Hands on experiences at the Festival

There are normally tents with volunteers and Scouts offering children different experiences and teaching them crafts. The Scout’s tent is one of the most popular, with children lining up to make wari bashi depo (a type of catapult) and to try tightrope walking or to make survival crafts. There was a balloon artist in this area too, making animals out of balloons and giving them to children for free. There was a kids corner in 2022, so hopefully there will be in 2023 too.

Kawajima Town

Overall Kawajima isn’t a particularly well known town. However it is known for certain things or rather in certain circles! For example, it is well known among skydivers as it is the home to Tokyo Skydiving club. Foodies will known it for its strawberries, its soy sauce park and its Sutatte Udon. Moreover, it is worth a visit, particularly when this free, but fun festival is on, because you can also see beautiful roses in the park in Japan’s longest rose tunnel

2023 Information

**PLEASE NOTE THAT AT THE TIME OF UPDATING THIS ON APRIL 23RD 2023 THE FINER DETAILS FOR 2023 WERE NOT YET AVAILABLE. Thus, I cannot guarantee that this festival will be similar to before the pandemic and there is a chance it will be low key like in 2022.*

Event: Kawajima Spring Festival

Date: Monday May 15th to Sunday May 21st. The Saturday and Sunday (20th and 21st) are the principal days. Normally they light up the roses at night between 7 and 9 pm. However, the rose light up has not yet been confirmed for 2023.

Time: 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: free to enter the event space and free parking too.

Venue: Heisei no Mori Park, 920 Shimoyatsubayashi, Kawajima, Hiki District, Saitama 350-0122.

Access Heisei No Mori park

By train and bus – Take a bus, from East exit of Tobu Tojo line Kawagoe station, bound for Konosu. 20 minute walk from 「川島農協前」(Kawajima Nokyou mae) bus stop.

By car – about a five minute drive from the Kawajima exit of the Ken-O expressway. There is free parking for about 150 cars, but they also open an overflow car park for the festival.

Official Town website

First published in 2012, republished in 2022. Last update April 23rd 2023.

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