Information for the 2023 Nanbata Castle Park festival, which was previously called the Musket Shooting AND park festival.
If you missed a chance to meet some ‘Samurai’ at the Yorii Hojo Festival, never fear! There is another opportunity coming up in early June at the Nanbata Castle Park. Each year on the first Sunday of June you can see a matchlock demonstration by samurai clad shooters. When the festival first started it was one of the few places you could see such a display of samurai clad musket shooters. However, in recent years these actors perform at numerous festivals throughout Saitama.
Musket Shooting Festival
As aforementioned this festival was once called a musket shooting festival. The shooters parade through the crowd ceremoniously before positioning themselves in front of the crowds and shoot the muskets in to the air. This is done a handful of times. Afterwards, the men in the warrior costumes, complete with Kabuto (warrior helmets), are available for photographs!
When we first went in 2007 the warrior procession and matchlock demonstration made up the entire festival! But since then they have added a number of elements and made it a park festival. You can now see taiko drum performances and buy some food at the festival. Such as steamed buns and dumplings. They also have a corner where you can try some traditional games or try weaving on a loom.
The park itself is worth a visit even when the festival is not on, to enjoy the flora and fauna and see the period houses and relics in a time-slip village. Currently the water lilies are in bloom and the lotus will be coming into bloom soon too. In addition, they have traditional toys out for kids to play with, which include kendama, hanetsuki and stilts made from wood block and rope. More information on the park in English here.
Event: Nanbata Castle Park Festival 難波田城公園まつり
Date: Sunday June 4th 2023
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Venue: Nanbata Castle Park, 568-1 Shimonanbata, Fujimi, Saitama 354-0004. View on Google Maps.
You can get a bus to the park’s entrance from Tobu Tojo Line’s Tsuruse station south entrance. You can also take a bus from Tobu Tojo Line’s Shiki Station for Fujimi High School 富士見高校行き and alight at Kozenji Entrance「興禅寺入口」. It is about a three minute walk from the bus stop. There is parking at the castle park, but it will be limited during the festival.
For more information on the park in Japanese: Nanbata Castle Park official web page. And more information in English here.
Editor’s note: this was actually the very first event post on Insaitama, first published in June 2007 when the blog was still hosted on Blogger! It was moved with the rest of the site to WordPress in 2008. During the pandemic the event was temporarily merged with the blog post about Nanbata Castle Park. It was updated and republished on May 23rd 2023.
a festival for shooting muskets? they really have a festival for everything!