A truly energizing festival, the Chichibu Kawase Festival and Fireworks is one of the highlights of summer in Chichibu. They cancelled the festival in both 2020 and 2021, but in 2021 they had a mini surprise fireworks on the 19th. I am absolutely delighted to announce that this magnificent festival is going ahead, almost like normal, in 2022.
Chichibu Kawase Festival and fireworks
They say that the Chichibu Festival is the opposite to Chichibu’s most famous festival – the yomatsuri or night festival – which takes place in December annually. Instead of a night festival, its a day festival. Rather than a winter festival it is a summer festival. In addition, instead of being for adults, its for children. Children play a large and important role in this traditional festival. In Chichibu it is regarded as a type of “gion” festival.
For the first time in three years, they are planning the Chichibu Kawase festival for 2022. Each year the festival is on July 19th and 20th, regardless what day of the week it is. The fireworks are usually on the 19th of July. They have actually not said either way whether the fireworks are on. I get the feeling they will launch them! But no guarantees.
People come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. Prior to the pandemic the estimated the number of visitors was about 40,000. They expected at least twice that in 2020, with the Olympics, but then you-know-what happened! There are usually about 300 festival stalls selling food and/or drink and/or festival goods.
Like all good traditional festivals there are floats and a portable shrine. You can see the floats on the 19th and 20th. On the 19th, traditional music echoes around the town as the eight festival floats are paraded. The floats are lit up at night with lanterns. They usually perform Kagura too, but I currently see no mention of that for 2022.
On the 20th the portable shrine, is carried down to, and in to, the Arakawa / Ara River. In 2022, that will be done in the morning. They will have the usual blessing first, but access to the blessing ritual maybe restricted. Then the 400 kilogram shrine makes it way to the river around 10 am. In 2022, they will not have a farewell to the festival floats like they usually do.
Chichibu Kawase festival 2022
Address: Banba machi, Chichibu, Saitama 368-0041.
Plus Code (for Chichibu Shrine): X3XM+2M Chichibu, Saitama.
Phone: 0494-23-1110 between 10 am and 5 pm.
Dates: always on the 19th and 20th of July
2022 Hours: 1 pm to 10 pm on the 19th and from 9 am to 9 pm on the 20th.
The festival takes place in different areas of the Banba district of Chichibu city. The Chichibu shrine is the focal point and that is only a 3 minute walk from Chichibu station.
If you are coming by car there is normally free parking for 300 cars in different locations around the area. However, there maybe limited parking in 2022 due to the pandemic in an effort to keep the number of visitors down.
For more events in Saitama, please see the main events category.