Kuki Lantern Festival Tenno Festival

Please note that in 2021 the July 12th date is only for worshippers of the precinct. That is, they will only have a religious ceremony for locals. There will be NO festival floats or festival stalls of any kind. The July 18th date is going ahead, but it is strictly for locals only. Moreover there will be no food or festival stalls on that day either.

A must see festival: Kuki Tenno festival or Lantern Festival is held annually on two fixed dates. Regardless of the day of the week, the festival is held on July 12th and July 18th each year. The Tenno Festival is the biggest lantern festival in the Kanto region (area around Tokyo). It is one festival not to miss if you are in the Greater Tokyo area in July. There is a good reason why a quarter of a million people attend this incredible festival every year. 

In 2020 the event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Here’s hoping that the 2021 event can go ahead.

The festival starts just after noon on both days, but runs until 10 pm. The main action, the dancing of the lantern floats, is usually on around 8 pm at the Kuki Station’s west rotary. There are approximately 100 festival stalls on the 12th and 300 on the 18th.

The Tenno Festival is famous throughout Japan. It even features on overseas documentaries about Japan too. Few know the exact details of the origin of the festival. But it is rumored that it started after a devastating volcanic eruption. After the natural disaster the locals banded together to lift the spirits of people in their city with this vitalizing festival. 

Locals carry huge floats of paper lanterns through the town. What makes them extra special is the floats transform between day and night. During the day the floats depict mythical characters. At night they display the enchanting lanterns.



Access Kuki Lantern Festival / Tenno festival

The area of the Tenno festival is close to JR Kuki station. Kuki station is about a 20 minute train ride from Omiya.

By car the festival is about a 10 minute drive from the Kuki exit of the Tohoku expressway.

Featured image and video from the official festival website:


↑That festival site is currently not live, but the official prefectural Kuki website has information.

Another “not to miss” festival is the Chichibu Night Festival held annually in December.

For more events in Saitama please see the main events calendar.

Things to do in Kuki

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