Oedo Niiza Festival

For the first time in three years: the Oedo Niiza Festival is on this July. This is a relatively new festival. The last time it was on, in 2019, it was only its fifth year. However, it replaced the Niiza Awa odori festival, which ran for 32 years until 2014. It might explain that although being a ‘young’ festival in 2018 it attracted about 100,000 participants! It is a dance festival with both traditional and modern dance, with the Awa Odori being the highlight of the festival. However, it is on a smaller scale in 2022, but at least it is on!

Oedo Niiza Festival

Prior to the pandemic, the festival performances started from 11 am on the main stage. The highlight of the festival is the Awa Odori traditional Japanese folk dance. Pre-pandemic it was performed from 3.30 pm. However, the finer details for 2022 are not yet available. After and before the Awa Odori there are normally a number of modern and international dances performed, such as hip hop and hula, in five key locations. This information is also not yet available for 2022, and may not come available. What I am finding these past few weeks is that the information is minimalized on purpose. Possibly so that they can change it last minute to fit in with the current coronavirus situation.

However, what we do know for sure is that there are stage performances and street performances scheduled for 2022. Of the information that is currently available, at the very least there will be Awa Odori, Yosakoi, Hip Hop and African dance performances. There will also be music from local schools and dance performances by children. The opening ceremony is actually being held mid way between the performances, around 4 pm! They have also said that there will be some food stalls at this year’s festival.

Oedo Niiza Festival
The last flyer, from the official website in 2019, click to be redirected

Beyond 2020

The festival was part of the “Beyond 2020” program, but the program has kind of gone by the leeway! No doubt, to you know what. I lifted this quote back in 2019 when this event was last on the blog. Like about 200 other event posts, this event has been sitting in ‘drafts’ since I removed the event calendar from the blog last summer! What I will do now, is re-add events that are going ahead. Those that are not will stay in drafts until such time they are coming back to us!

The “beyond2020” program is to give logo marks to cultural programs that contribute to the creation of legacy that is proud of the next generation, making full use of the regional rich and diverse cultures.

In certifying the program, it is necessary to include a project or activity including one of the following.

  • ・Efforts to eliminate barriers of people with disabilities
  • ・Efforts to eliminate language barriers of foreigners

The “beyond2020” program targets are projects or activities conducted by a wide range of people, including public institutions, private enterprises, and other voluntary organizations. Regardless of commercial activities, nonprofit activities, we certify a wide range of activities related to culture. Source: Beyond 2020

Ironically, even though the festival was part of the Beyond 2020 program, they never had a foreign language page for the event. The Japanese language official site is linked below.

Oedo Niiza Festival Information

Please check the official website for any last minute changes or cancellations.

Date: Saturday July 16th 2022

Time: from 12.30 pm.

Location: Niiza station

Cost: free

Festival Access

The festival area is minutes walk from the south exit of Niiza station which is on the JR Musashino Line.

For more events in Saitama please see the main event category pages. Some other ideas of what to do this summer in Saitama.

Official event website. All images from the official website.

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