Koinobori carp streamer festival Yokoze

The Yokoze carp streamer festival is on annually in the lead up to and during Golden Week. Carp Streamer Festivals are an ‘only in Japan’ type of event. Around this time of year you can see the giant carp flying in the sky at several different locations. As well as in people’s gardens. Some places have an actual festival, with festival stalls etc, but at Yokoze the term “festival” really just indicates the period when you can see the carp streamers displayed.

Yokoze Carp Streamer festival

Approximately 180 carp streamers are hung across four wires across Yokose river. Many of the streamers were donated by locals. Indeed, if you have any carp streamers you no longer use and would like to donate them to Yokoze, they currently have a campaign. The first twenty people to donate a carp streamer will receive a free admission ticket to Buko Hot spring! The offer runs until April 26th, subject to availability.

This display has an interesting background. Supposedly there used to be a fireworks display annually in this area. However, they stopped it after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 and donated the funds for the fireworks to the relief efforts for that earthquake instead. In place of the fireworks they hung carp streamers so that the young children of Yokoze could still look to the sky, as their parents and grandparents before them also had. But just at the shape of koinobori, rather than fireworks. I love coming across stories like this.

Information

Event: Yokoze Carp Streamer Festival 横瀬鯉のぼりまつり

Dates: from Saturday April 13th to public holiday May 6th, the last day of Golden Week, 2024.

Time: 24 hours in theory, but they are not lit up at night.

Cost: free!

Venue: Above Yokose River near Chichibu Yumoto Buko Hot Spring, 4628-3 Yokoze, Chichibu District, Saitama 368-0072. View on Google Maps.

Access

The hot spring and adjacent camping ground are about a ten to fifteen minute walk from Seibu Chichibu line’s Yokoze station.

Official event page.

Three other places for carp streamers in Saitama (you will find several other on this website too):

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