Kinchakuda is synonymous with “manjushage” red spider lilies in Saitama. Furthermore, it is the most famous of the three red spider lily festivals of Saitama. Moreover, the carpet of spiny red flowers is one of the most famous autumn scenes in all of Japan. There are also several other notable manjushage colonies in various locations around Saitama. But Kinchakuda is by far the largest (not just in Saitama, but all of Japan) with FIVE MILLION red spider lilies. This post contains information for the festival AND updates on the condition of the flowers, as well as exclusive information that you will not find elsewhere online in the English language.
Red spider lilies are called Higanbana or Manjushage in Japanese. In Kinchakuda they are most commonly called “manjushage”. The famous red spider lilies in Kinchakuda in Hidaka bloom from about mid September. They set the date for the corresponding festival close to the time of their expected bloom. However, in 2023, the spider lilies are later to bloom than expected, due to a hotter and longer than normal summer. Therefore, in 2023 the festival will start before the flowers are blooming. Generally, the best time to view the flowers is around a week after the flowers are officially declared open. The most recent update from Kinchakuda, on September 19th, is that they now expect best viewing to be around the end of September.
Red Spider Lily Festival Kinchakuda
The spider lily festival generally starts on a Saturday in the middle of September and usually runs until the end of September. They judge it on expected period of bloom. Until around 2012 the manjushage typically bloomed from silver week with full bloom at the end of September into early October. But in recent years, with the exception of 2019, they started blooming from mid September with full bloom around the 20th of September. This year they are late by recent year averages.The dates for the 2023 festival have been set and you will find them below, in the information section. But please note, as the spider lilies are late, the festival will actually start before the flowers are blooming.
The festival attracts thousands of visitors. Approximately 200,000 of them (visitors)! This year, the festival will be similar to a normal year. They will have festival stalls, throughout the festival period, in the open courtyard in the middle of the spider lilies. This year, there are 21 stalls. They are not all food stalls, some are selling handmade goods or local produce. In addition, the free shuttle bus is back in 2023 (see access paragraph).
There are normally live stage performances as well, but while there maybe the odd live performance, there is currently no live stage scheduled for 2023. As was the case in 2022 also. However, they may release more information over the coming weeks. But regardless, you can see a saruwamashi traditional Japanese monkey performance, occasionally during the festival. The photo above was taken at the Kinchakuda spider lily festival in 2022. Unfortunately, there is currently no fixed schedule for the performances. In 2022, unlike in the past, it was not on a stage, just in a small section of the festival area. It maybe the same in 2023.
Kinchakuda Manjushage Park
Spider Lily Light Up
In 2023, they will light up the spider lilies on two nights only. However, this light up event is limited to residents of Hidaka City only. It
will be on Saturday S eptember 23rd and Sunday 24th 2023. has been postponed to September 30th and October 1st as the spider lilies are late blooming this year. If you are lucky enough to live in Hidaka City, you can apply for one of the limited and coveted 300 spots (150 each night) until August 21st 2023. More information in Japanese and application form here.
The Hidaka Kuri (Chestnut) Festival is held on one day during the period of bloom of the spider lilies, but it had not been on during the pandemic. In 2023, the Hidaka Kuri Festival will be on, at Kinchakuda, for the first time in four years, on Saturday September 30th from 9 am to 4.30 pm.
Visiting the Manjushage
Generally, they say the best time of day to get a good picture is around 10 am in the morning. The star in the picture below is one of the prime viewing spots. East of that by the Do-re-mi-fa bridge or on the North east edge of the bridge and also under Aiai bridge are key locations. More detailed general information about the park, including the stable tragedy, in English here.
|Update ①||September 13th||The flowers are not yet blooming, but the festival will start from the 16th regardless. Kinchakuda are now saying they expect the flowers to bloom around the 20th of September.|
|Update ②||September 19th||The early blooming section is coming along nicely. They are now saying the best time to see the main section will be around the end of September.|
Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival Information
Event: Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily festival 巾着田曼珠沙華まつり
Dates: Saturday September 16th to Sunday October 1st 2023.
Time: the festival is on from 9 am to 4.30 pm, but you can enter the colony area from 7 am to 5 pm. (Light up is from 6.30 to 8 pm – please see two paragraphs up for more details about the exclusive light up event).
Cost: The price went up in 2022, from 300 yen to 500 yen. That is the charge for adults, there is no charge for children under 16 years old. There is also a 500 yen charge for parking during the period of the festival.
Location: Kinchakuda (Kinchakuda Manjushage Park), 125-2 Komahongo, Hidaka, Saitama 350-1251. Map near the bottom of the post.
Free shuttle bus: the free shuttle bus is back in 2023, for the first time in four years. However, it is only on limited dates: September 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd and 24th. It goes from the car park of Koma shrine.
By public transport: 15 minute walk from Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Koma Station.
By car: 18 minute drive from Tsurugashima Interchange of Kanetsu Expressway. Parking costs 500 yen for the day. The parking lot is open from 7 am to 5 pm. Please note that the car park is always extremely busy during the prime viewing period, even on a weekday. It is not uncommon to have to wait to get into the car park and to queue to get back out!
On the edge of the park is an ORGANIC CAFE AND SHOP Alishan Organic Center to grab a bite or pick up some foreign healthy produce. Koma Shrine and the stunning Shoden-in are both a short drive from the park. If you are driving, you can also pick up a fresh ice-cream at Kato Farm too!
The app that the introduced in 2022 can no longer be downloaded. However, anyone who downloaded it last year can continue using it until March 31st 2024. But this year, they have an official event website.
Where can I see red spider lilies, Higanbana, near Tokyo?
Kinchakuda (Hidaka) and Gongendo park (Satte) are the two most famous places you can see red spider lilies near Tokyo and in the Kanto region. Both are in Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. However, there is a third at the Terasaka Terraced Rice Fields, also in Saitama (Yokoze in Chichibu), which is a little more remote and off the tourist trail. It has 2 million red spider lily. In addition, there is another location relatively close to Tokyo, but with less visitors: spider lilies in Yoshimi.
First published in 2015, updated annually. Last republish August 6th 2023. The festival was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021, they even cut the flowers down to stop people visiting. The festival went ahead in 2022.