Carp streamers koinobori flying carp Kawagoe near the Starbucks Kanetsuki for Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival

The Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival is an annual event that starts at the end of March. The opening of the event is usually on the last Saturday of March, but it will be on the last Sunday in 2024. Moreover, the popular sakura boat ride will actually take place before the official period of the spring festival in 2024. Just the day before. Another change since the pandemic is that the festival is on for a much shorter period – it used to run until after Golden week. But, good news, the Koinobori carp streamers will be up right until May 13th.

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The 2024 Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival

The Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival is comprised of several individual events. They usually start on the day of the opening ceremony, Sunday March 24th in 2024, and run until the last day of the festival. There are exceptions though. Below you will find a summary of some of the key events on as part of the festival as well as information for the opening ceremony.

Events

Some of the larger events on during the period of the spring festival:


Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival Opening Ceremony

For the opening ceremony of the spring festival the area around Ichibangai (Kurazukuri no Machinami / Little Edo Warehouse District) is pedestrianized. As such there will be disruptions to traffic, bus routes and parking. The opening ceremony is on from 10 am to 4 pm. It will go ahead if there is light rain, but might be cancelled if the weather is very bad. The schedule has changed a bit again this year. The updated version below the photo:

Nambata Castle Park Musket Shooting festival
Musket and samurai sword
  • Musket Shooting
    • 12.20 pm beside Honmaru Goten
    • 1 pm in front of the Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan
    • 1.15 pm in front of Saitama Risona bank
    • 1.30 pm at Naka crossroads
    • 1.40 pm in the precincts of Renkeiji
A kawagoe firefighter performs Ladder acrobatics at a New Year Firefighter festival called a dezome shiki
Hashigo Nori
  • Hashigo Nori” traditional ladder balancing performances, such as what you see at a Dezome Shiki.
    • 10:15 to 10:25 am in front of Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan
    • 10:40 to 10:50 am at Naka cho crossroads

Other events

Edo Day

Ichibangai (the principal street of the storehouse / warehouse district) will have their annual “Edo Day” on Sunday March 24th – the same day as the opening ceremoy. Merchants dress up in Edo period costumes and run several small events. For example, you can see a demonstration of how to do an Edo period hairdo! There is also children’s songs and “Edo period hospitality”!

Sakura Boat Ride

Another staple of the spring festival is the boat ride under the sakura on Shingashi river at the back of Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. However, this year it will be on the day before the spring festival starts! Moreover, you need to purchase a ticket in advance to participate. Apart from the cherry blossoms on the Shingashi River being exceptionally scenic, the history of the cherry blossoms is very poignant as well. More information, including how to purchase a ticket:

Koedo + Sakura + Wa Wine Festival

Renkeiji plays an important role in the spring festival and several of Kawagoe’s key festivals annually. This year they will have their second WINE x Sakura event on two days in March. In addition, they will also have a flower festival on April 14th. Information for both:

Street piano

Each year during the cherry blossom season Nakain have a piano event. In 2024 it will be on from public holiday Wednesday March 20th to Sunday March 31st.

Kawagoe Hanachozu

The annual spring Kawagoe Hanachozu Stamp Rally is on from March 2nd to 31st. In addition, this year Kawagoe Hachimangu have a Hanachozu ‘festival’. It is on for the full duration of the Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival. That is, from March 24th to April 21st.

Harumode

Kawagoe Kumano, another of the principal spiritual locations in Kawagoe, have the second of their five annual prayer seasons in Spring. In 2024 you can practise Harumode from March 17th to May 6th. More information on the shrine.

Koinobori Carp Streamers

The Taisho Roman Yume Street fly carp streamers, as per the featured photo at the top of the post. They almost cancelled this element of the festival last year. But thankfully the organizers succumbed to the requests of locals and admirers to go ahead. The compromise: instead of making the carp streamers at a community painting event like they used to, people could make the streamers at home. They will do the same this year and the streamers will be displayed from Saturday March 23rd to May 13th 2024.


Cherry Blossoms in Kawagoe

Places to see cherry blossoms in Kawagoe during the period of the spring festival:


Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival Information

Event: Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival 小江戸川越春まつり

Dates: Sunday March 24th to Sunday April 21st 2024

Hours: Depends greatly, but by and large between 10 am and 3 pm

Cost: A lot of the entertainment is free, but since 2022 the popular boat ride is charged. In 2024 the price has gone up again and it is now 1000 yen per person and the tickets need to be bought in advance.

Venue: Various. The opening ceremony is in the Ichibangai area – from Renkeiji to the old warehouse district. View on Google Maps.

Official Kawagoe City website, which is most likely to publish the news of a cancellation first. And the official event page on the Koedo tourism website.

Access

The nearest station is Hon Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line, which is about a seven minute walk to the Ichibangai area of Kawagoe. It takes approximately 13 minutes from JR Kawagoe and Tobu Tojo Lines Kawagoe Station. There is limited parking and it is charged by the half hour, usually around 300 yen for half an hour on the weekend.

The opening events are on if there is light rain, but heavy rain may cause changes or even a cancellation. Please check on the official tourism website for Kawagoe for up to date information nearer the date – such as announcements of changes or cancellations due to weather or other mitigating factors. 

Originally published in 2016. This post was moved from the events calendar in August 2021 to the main blog area in February 2022. koedo-spring-festival-kawagoe. Republished on March 5th 2024.

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