Information for the annual Koedo Kawagoe Chrysanthemum Festival / Kiku Matsuri / 菊祭り (not Choyu no Sekku) at Kitain Temple. The chrysanthemum is a very important and symbolic flower in Japan. It is the official national flower of Japan. In Japanese there is even a word for chrysanthemum viewing; “kangiku” 観菊. Kan means view and giku from kiku meaning chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum Festivals are elaborate displays of chrysanthemums. Often they are flower competitions. There are various types of displays at a “kiku matsuri”.
Kawagoe Chrysanthemum Festival 「小江戸川越菊まつり」
Each year in Autumn there are dozens of chrysanthemum festivals around Japan. The Chrysanthemum festivals held in October / November are not “Choyo no Sekku” or “Kiku no Sekku”, which is the last of the Go-sekku (five season festivals). That is held on September 9th annually. The Chrysanthemum festivals held in October and November come from the old Choyu no Sekku festival, during which time chrysanthemum viewing first became popular. In modern times, while Choyo no Sekku is still observed on September 9th, chrysanthemum viewing is typically around the end of October and the first two to three weeks of November.
At Kitain in Kawagoe the chrysanthemum festival is on from the 1st to the 23rd of November annually. It is held in the main courtyard of the temple grounds, near the pagoda and the 500 Rakan, just two of the several attractions of the beautiful Kitain Temple. Moreover, the temple grounds are particularly beautiful throughout Autumn. There is a shop and two restaurant on the grounds of the temple, which open daily during business hours. Furthermore, during the period of the chrysanthemum festival there are usually food trucks or stalls on the grounds. However, they have not been present since the pandemic began. Hopefully they will be back in 2023!
Shichi Go San
During the period there will be daily ceremonies (in the temple) for the 7-5-3, Shichi Go San celebration, at 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3 pm.
Event: Koedo Kawagoe Chrysanthemum Festival 小江戸川越菊まつり
Dates: November 1st to 23rd annually
Hours: Noon to 4 pm on November 1st and 2nd, 9 am to 4 pm from November 3rd to November 22nd, and 9 am to 3 pm on November 23rd.
Cost: there is no admission fee
Venue: the main courtyard of Kitain Temple, 1-20-1 Kosemba-machi, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. 350-0036. View on Google Maps.
The temple grounds are about a 20 minute walk from JR / Tobu Tojo Line Kawagoe Station. There is a loop tourist bus that stops near the temple. There is parking at the temple. They changed the system this year. It used to cost 500 yen for the day (flat rate). Now it costs 500 yen for every three hours on a weekend. On a weekday it costs 200 yen for the first hour and 100 yen per hour after that. The car park closes at 4.30 pm on a weekday until the 23rd. From the 23rd of November it closes at 4 pm.
In Saitama Prefecture, another place with a chrysanthemum festival is Kitamoto City.
Editor’s note: this post was merged with Kitain Temple Autumn information temporarily during the pandemic. It was republished as its on post again on October 11th 2023.