Taisho Roman Yume (or Dream) Street is a shopping district in the tourist area of Kawagoe, home to the famous Kasumi Flower Honey. Unlike the main thoroughfare “Ichibangai”, which is renowned as an Edo period time slip, Taisho Roman gives a peek of life and architecture in early 20th century Japan. A time in Japan that is known as the Taisho period (1912 – 1926). The Taisho Roman Dream Street has become a popular place to take photos of koinobori, carp streamers, in spring. However, the street also gets dressed up annually for Tanabata!
Tanabata Festival, Taisho Roman Yume Street
Tanabata is the Star Festival. It is celebrated annually in the summer. The Tanabata festival celebrates the reunion of Orihime and Hikoboshi, who can only meet on the 7th day of the 7th month. By the lunar calendar though that is the 7th day of the 7th lunar month which changes annually. To keep things “easy” rather than changing the date every year, August 7th was chosen as the date to mark the occasion by the lunar calendar.
Some places in Kawagoe, including Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, mark Tanabata in August. However, by the Gregorian calendar which is commonly used for in Japan, the 7th day of the 7th month is of course July 7th. Thus some places celebrate on July 7th, including the shopping district of Taisho Roman Yume street.
There are bamboo trees along the street. It is just a small display, nowhere near as big as their koinobori event. But you can write your own wishes to add to a tree. Each of the stores on the street have colored strip of papers that you can use. There are also lanterns decorating the trees. Moreover, the lanterns are lit up at night. The event is from Friday July 2nd to Sunday July 11th annually. The lanterns are turned on around dusk and stay on all night.
The Taisho Roman Dream Street is accessible from each of the three Kawagoe Stations. It takes about 10 minutes on foot from Hon-Kawagoe station, 15 minutes from Kawagoeshi Station and about 20 minutes from JR / Tobu Tojo Kawagoe Station. If you are coming by car there is a coin parking lot on the street. It costs 200 yen for 30 minutes which is fairly standard in Kawagoe. There are a few cheaper coin parking lots the further out you go. The official free parking for Kawagoe tourist town is about a 20 minute walk away on route 254.