The Soka Yosakoi and Samba Festival Soka is back in 2023. However, this year it will be on in Autumn, not summer. A much better time for it in my personal opinion. I don’t know how those dancers normally survive a day of dancing in elaborate costumes in the heat and humidity of July! This year it will be on in October. However, it will only be for one day rather than the usual two. They are still recruiting dance teams and food trucks, so if you want to participate in this lively event you have until tomorrow to apply!
Soka Yosako and Samba Festival
Before the pandemic, the Soka Yosakoi and Samba dance festival was on the Saturday and Sunday before “umi no hi”, a national holiday in July in Japan. However, it was cancelled between 2020 and 2022 due to the pandemic. Earlier this year they did announce they were planning to have the festival in 2023, but that it wouldn’t be on the usual date. Then, earlier this month they released the date as October 8th 2023.
In 2023, the festival will be on for just a few hours, from 12.30 to 4 pm. In the hope that in 2024 things will be fully back to normal: usually the dance festival starts from 4 pm on Saturday and from 1 pm on Sunday. The samba parade is on the Sunday from 4.15 pm. Before the pandemic, on both dates the festival ran until around 9 pm. So, as you can see, it is a festival lite in 2023.
Event: Soka Yosakoi Festival, sponsored by JCom. 草加よさこいサンバフェスティバル
Date: Sunday October 8th 2023
Time: from 12.30 to 4 pm, most food trucks will be there from 11 am to 5 pm.
Cost: there is no admission fee
Venue: Hikawacho, Sōka, Saitama 340-0034. Hikawacho is the area by the west exit of Soka Station. View on Google Maps.
The festival is being held around the west exit of the Soka station. Soka station is on the Tobu Isesaki Skytree Line. It is one stop away from the border of Tokyo and Saitama meaning a lot of people commute from Tokyo to enjoy this effervescent festival.
Editor’s note: this post was temporarily removed from the website during the pandemic. It was republished on August 30th 2023.