If you are looking for a traditional festival that is on despite the pandemic in 2022, Ogawa Tanabata Festival is one for your list. Tanabata is the “star” festival, discerned by colorful paper streamers that adorn the streets. The Tanabata Festival in Ogawamachi (Ogawa Town) is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular. Ogawa Town posted in early May to say that they are planning to host the full festival this year. In 2021, they just adorned the streets with the streamers, but there was no festival as such. Furthermore, it was in August, rather than the usual July. Moreover, in 2020, they did not mark Tanabata at all.
Ogawa Tanabata Festival
The Ogawa Tanabata Festival is the principal festival of Ogawamachi since 1949. They normally hold it on the fourth Saturday and Sunday of July. That is, Saturday July 23rd and Sunday July 24th 2022. Before the pandemic, there was always fireworks on the Saturday night. They have not been confirmed yet for 2022. However, while many fireworks are not planning to go ahead in 2022, there are a few that are. Including Kawagoe fireworks. So there is a chance that the Star / Tanabata festival fireworks will be on in Ogawa in 2022.
In a normal year, they decorate the area around Ogawamachi station for the Star Festival. They use thousands of paper streamers. The streamers are on bamboo as are most tanabata decorations. Moreover, what makes these paper streamers special is that they are made from washi paper. Ogawa town is famous for washi paper.
During the two day festival there is normally music and dance as well as festival stalls. There are usually about 150 stalls at the event. The event generally attracts about 200,000 visitors. In 2022, it is possible they will downsize the festival to deter this amount of visitors. As of June 1st 2022, the only official information available about the festival is the dates and times.
Ogawa Tanabata Festival Fireworks
They normally launch about 2000 fireworks between 19.15 and 20.30 on the Saturday night of the festival. However, it is not yet known if they will have fireworks in 2022.
When: July 23rd and 24th 2022 from 11 am to 8 pm. (They restrict traffic from 10 am to 9 pm)
Where: The main area is around Ogawamachi station.
Contact: Official website. Queries to the festival committee at 0493-72-0280.
Access: From Ogawamachi station (Saitama, not to be confused with the one in Tokyo!) which is on the Tobu Tojo and Hachiko lines.
If you are in Ogawa Town don’t miss Saitama’s longest roller slide!