What an absolutely fabulous hotchpotch of festivals on offer this weekend. There is something for everyone in Saitama this weekend. From the very traditional, history rich Japanese festivals, to a taste of Brazil in a Summer Carnival. From family friendly children processions to beer garden alcohol laden adult friendly festivals!  The choice is as extensive as it is diverse.

Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals you can enjoy this weekend, with links to more information in Japanese. Please note, that due to typhoon nangka there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 18th

SUmmer Carnival tsurugashima
Image taken fom the Saitama Tourist Office

This colourful carnival, just a minute from Tsurugashima station, is quite different from the traditional festivals at this time of year, but just as fun and vivacious.  This event will take place even it is raining. Image taken from the Saitama’s Tourism Bureau.  More information from the Tsurugashima City Official website here .

Fukiage Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Kounosu City Official website

This local festival in Kounosu is not as well-known or well attended as the Paper Lantern festival, but its a fun day out all the same. There is a portable shrine during the day and an illuminated float at night. You can also enjoy a beer garden. It is held near the Fukiage station on the JR Takasaki line.

More information here.

Sugito Festival

July 18th  and 19th

2014 Flyer from the official website

Sugito is most famous for the Tobu Zoo and amusement park. The town really bands together for their annual festival. There is a fantastic line-up of events over the 2 day festival, including child friendly attractions, even a children’s parade. From the official website: More information here

Honjo Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Honjo Tourism website

This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space.

You can find more information and the schedule on the official website.

Yono Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website.

There are a couple of local festivals in Yono this weekend. You can get more information on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website here.

Yoshikawa Summer Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the offical Yoshikawa website

This 400 year old festival is the pride of Yoshikawa city. It is quite different to other festivals in that it is spread out geographically and does not take place in one central location.  You can find out more on the official website here.

Kazo Festival

July 18th  and 19th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Please keep an eye on their website for updates, as it maybe cancelled due to the typhoon. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 18th – 19th

Image taken from the Sakado city website

It is not as big as some of the other summer festivals this weekend, but there is dance and parading floats. Please check out the official website for more detail on this local Sakado Festival.

Omiya Summer Festival

July 19th

Taken from Saitama Tourism and Internationl Relations Bureau (STIB)

The festival officially starts at 3pm, but the portable shrine progression will start around 5pm. It takes place to the south exit of Omiya station. This event will most likely NOT take place in the event of rain.

Information on the official website; Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

Chichibu Kawase Firework Festival

July 19th – 20th

Chichibu Kawase Festival

This festival is quite hard to get to, but people still come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. It attracts about 40000 people and there are about 300 stalls.  There are also fireworks on the 19th from 20.00. 1300 fireworks will be launched.

This is NOT the official website, but it has the most detail: https://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_festival/1273/

Kagohara Summer Festival

July 19th to 20th

From the official Kumagaya City website

One of two festivals happening in Kumagaya this weekend. This one is much lesser known. It is held near Kagohara station.

More information on the official site here.

Urawa Yosakoi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

This dance and music festival is an all day event, starting from 10 in the morning. It is being held near the JR Minami Urawa Station.There are about 20 stalls at the festival. Generally about 50,000 people come to enjoy the yosakoi dance. More information can be found on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau (STIB).  There is also a festival taking place near Urawa station:

Urawa Mikoshi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

1 of 2 of Urawa’s festivals this Monday, which is a national holiday in Japan.  A “mikoshi” is a portable shrine, carried by many people who have trained for many weeks to carry it in tandem. This festival also has a children’s mikoshi. The mikoshi procession starts at 14.30 near Urawa station.

From STIB Saitama official tourist website: https://www.stib.jp/

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival

July 20th – 22nd

An “uchiwa” is a type of Japanese fan, a much-needed accessory at this time of year in Japan. This festival stems from a custom of distributing free fans in the retail district, that started roughly 100 years ago. It attracts about 750,000 making it one of the biggest festivals this weekend. There are over 300 stalls. The festival starts on a public holiday and goes through to mid-week.

Image taken from the official website: Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri

ENJOY WHICHEVER FESTIVAL YOU ATTEND THIS WEEKEND, and be sure to let us know how you got on.



    1. Author

      Choice can be a bad thing, which one to go to!! Actually its tournament (karate) weekend for my son, so we will avoid until he has literally kicked ass on Sunday!! 🙂

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