What an absolutely fabulous selection of festivals on offer the first weekend of the summer school holidays. There is something for everyone in Saitama the weekend of July 16th to 20th. 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 if there are any typhoons there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Satte Festival

July 14th, 16th and 17th

The large lantern floats are one of the major attractions of this annual 4 day festival. You can see them this year on the evening of the 17th from about 6pm.  Over the 4 days there are different events happening around the exit of Tobu Nikko Line Satte Station.  More information here (May 2016 – online information for 2016 festival has not been updated yet).


Okegawa Gion Festival

July 15th and 16th

The Okegawa Gion Festival has about 400 festival stalls and attracts about 100,000 people over the 2 days of festivities. Both days the festival runs between 3pm and 9pm approximately. The festival is close to the East exit of JR Takasaki Line Okegawa station. More information here. 

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 16th

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 16th and 17th

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 16th  and 17th

Awaiting updated flyer from the official page.

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 16th and 17th

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 16th and 17th

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 16th and 17th

Awaiting for an updated flyer from the official website.

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 16th  and 17th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Mikoshi, portable shrines, floats with traditional music and masked dancers performing sacred dances. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 16th – 17th

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 17th

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.

Kuki Lantern Festival / Tenno Festival

July 18th (also held on July 12th)

This festival celebrates local folklore and is famous throughout Japan. Huge floats of paper lanterns are carried through the town. From the official festival website: https://kuki.jpn.org/main/kankoukyoukai/maturi/

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 40,000 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

Held on the 19th and 20th each year, even if they are weekdays. This festival in Kumagaya is much lesser known than the famous Kumagaya Uchiwa festival. It is held near Kagohara station. More information on the official site here.



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