Ogano spring festival kabuki

Ogano Kabuki is a highlight of this beautiful, lively spring festival is in the scenic town of Ogano in the Chichibu area of Saitama. Unlike many other city and towns that have their main festival in the summer, Ogano’s principal festival is this spring one. It is one of about a dozen festivals in Saitama prefecture that stand out to me for the abundance in traditional performances and culture.

Ogano Spring Festival

The festival is held on the third Friday and Saturday of April annually. It is the festival of Ogano Shrine. The event was not on between 2020 and 2022 due to the pandemic. It was welcomed back last year. According to the official website of Ogano Kabuki and the Ogano Tourist Association, this year the festival is on Friday April 19th and Saturday April 20th.

Ogano kabuki
From the offical Ogano Kabuki website

There are a number of features that make this festival special, not least of all the kabuki performances. Ogano Kabuki has received prefectural Registered Intangible Cultural Property and Registered Intangible Folk Cultural Asset designations.

Ogano Kabuki

Ogano kabuki on yatai
Image from the official site

Thanks to a very impressive and resilient community spirit Ogano Kabuki has been preserved through the hard work and dedication of its towns folk. Ogano kabuki is renowned for the efforts of the community to create all the costumes, props and acting within Ogano.  You can see Ogano kabuki at this spring festival as well as seven other times a year on either the main stage in Ogano or on festival floats.

Ogano Spring Festival

Ogano spring festival
From official Ogano tourism website

The kabuki is carried out on the first day on a “yatai” type of float. There are festival floats and a kasaboko, which is a float decorated with blossoms. Before the pandemic Kabuki was not the only spectacular feature of this festival. They also had “Sword Dance” too. Moreover, they had the traditional and majestic performance of yabusame horseback archery. However, yabusame is not on the schedule for 2024. They will have a kendo performance on the Saturday though!

Ogano spring festival
From the official Ogano Kabuki website

Route of the festival floats

Ogano spring festival route of floats

Information 2024

Ogano Kabuki Spring festival 2024

Event: Ogano Spring Festival 小鹿野春祭り

Dates: April 19th and 20th 2024

Time: 9 am to 5 pm on Friday, 9 am to 9.30 pm on Saturday.

Cost: there is no admission fee.

Venue: Various, but it is the festival of Ogano Shrine, 1432 Ogano, Chichibu District, Saitama 368-0105. View on Google Maps. More about the shrine in English.

Access

The festival is quite tricky to access as the nearest station is at least a 20 minute drive away, by bus you would want to add another 10 minutes to that expected time. You can get a bus from Chichibu Railway Chichibu Station to the area and the shrine is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Ogano bus depot or 20 to 25 minutes from Ogano Town Hall bus stop. There is also a bus from Seibu Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line. Alight at “Ogano” bus stop and the shrine is about an eight minute walk from the bus stop.

Official website for Ogano Kabuki. Event information on the official Ogano town website.

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