Hoshikawa Illumination 2024 Kumagaya

Information for the annual illumination and the daruma market in winter, and the monthly Hoshikawa Night Bazaar.

I held this post back when I was updating all the illumination posts for the winter of 2024, because we planned to go and see it on January 6th and I wanted to use my own photos for this post. On January 6th we were in Kumagaya for a Wild Knights rugby match. We had parked near Kumagaya station and the plan was to go see the lights on the walk back from the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium to the station. However, true but long story, we ended up meeting some of Japan’s national rugby players (who play for the Wild Knights) after the match and so we skipped the illumination! We did see a bit of illumination in Kumagaya Sports & Culture Park though!

Hoshikawa Illumination

The Hoshikawa illumination isn’t particularly large, but what is great about it is it lasts into March. Most of the illumination displays either finish at Christmas or Valentine’s day. There are only a few that last until March, for example Misato’s which ends on White Day, and one, Seibuen’s, that lasts until April 7th. A lot of sites are reporting that the Hoshikawa illumination is on until March 31st, but according to Kumagaya City the end date is March 9th.

The Hoshikawa Illumination uses about 40,000 lights. They decorate the trees which line the Hoshi River, creating glistening reflections in the river. Or as they say, ‘A collaboration of light between Kumagaya’s night sky and the Hoshi river’. This year the bulbs are champagne gold and ocean blue. The illumination was switched on December 9th to the music from a mini Christmas concert and was followed by a night bazaar.

Illumination Information

Event: Hoshikawa Illumination 2024 星川イルミネーション

Dates: from December 9th 2023 to March 9th 2024

Time: from 5pm until 10 pm daily

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue information shared in the access paragraph.

The featured image, at the top of the post, is from the Official event page.


Hoshikawa / Kumagaya Daruma Market

For years, the Kumagaya Daruma Market was on February 7 annually. I don’t know when or why the date changed, but in 2024 it will be on Sunday January 21st. Daruma shops line up along the Hoshi river in Kumagaya city. You can also buy other lucky charms. They say the market was started as a wish for the prosperity of Kumagaya during the Edo era.

Daruma Market Information

Event: Kumagaya Daruma Market 熊谷初市(だるま市)祭

Date: Sunday January 21st 2024.

Time: from 10 am to 4 pm.

Cost: there is no admission fee. Daruma and amulets have varying prices.

Venue information in the access paragraph below.

Official event page.


The monthly Hoshikawa Night Bazaar

Each month there is a market at Hoshikawa on the second Saturday of the month. It is on from 5 pm to 9 pm. The venue is the same as above and outlined in the next section “Access”.


Access

The venue for all three is the same – Hoshi Kawa Symbol Street, Kamakuracho, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0046. View on Google Maps. The ‘matsuri hiroba’ is pinpointed on the map, because that is the main area of the daruma market as it was for the night bazaar and other events that are on during the period of the illumination. Its about a five minute walk from JR Kumagaya Station.

Illumination Kumagaya Sports Culture Park
Fwiw, the illumination at Kumagaya Sports Culture park!

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