three geisha walking between buildings

Finally, the official information for the much loved Tokorozawa Festival in 2023 has been released (September 20th 2023)…

Tokorozawa Festival

In previous years you could enjoy the festival over two days. However, since 2018 the main parade, music and street performances all happen on the one and only day of the festival. It will be the same in 2023 as it was in 2022. They have scheduled the festival for Sunday October 8th. They are planning to host a festival similar to how it was to pre-pandemic. For the first time in five years the festival will be on from morning to night. In 2022, it was on for a shorter period of time, but in 2023 it will be on from 10 am to 9 pm.

Volunteers carry the mikoshi portable shrine up and down the main thoroughfare. Starting from the West exit of Tokorozawa Station to Kanayama area. You can usually see a lot of the activities around the Motomachi community wide space 元町コミュニティ広場 from 1 to 7 pm. There are also usually festivities around the station area from early morning until about 8 pm. On the day of the festival, you can not drive up the main thoroughfare until after 9 pm at night. Among the many things you can enjoy, apart from the mikoshi, are Taiko drums and yosakoi traditional dance performances, and traditional music.  In addition, there is a bazaar with booths and stalls. You can see the full line up and schedule on the official brochure here (Japanese language).

2023 Information

Event: Tokorozawa Festival 2023 ところざわまつり

Date: Sunday October 8th 2023

Time: 10 am to 9 pm

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: Around the west exit of Seibu’s Tokorozawa Station, 1 Hiyoshicho, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1123. View on Google Maps.

Access Tokorozawa Festival

There are two official parking lots, but they get full very quickly. Moreover, they are hard to access after 10 am as the roads are closed off. It is recommended that you come by public transport. The festival is held close to the Tokorozawa station which is on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

Official website.

Other things to do in Tokorozawa:

If you are a Ghibli fan you will not want to miss the chance to hike the Totoro Forests and visit Kurosuke’s House in Sayama Hills. However, please note that since Kurosuke’s House reopened in 2022, they no longer allow people share photos of the location on social media. If you want to visit, you have to sign an affidavit to that effect. Furthermore, it is no longer free and you must book in advance. But don’t worry there is lots of other things to do in Tokorozawa at the new Tokorozawa Sakura Town. Tokorozawa is also home to the very excellent Aviation Memorial Park and Aviation Museum.

20171005. The festival was cancelled between 2019 and 2021 due to Hagibis and the pandemic.

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