The caption “Only in Japan” comes to mind for this unique and intriguing annual festival in Saitama’s capital city. And it is the pride of the people of Urawa. It is quite famous too. The festival was on in part last year, but it was quite low key. This year (2023) will be more like a normal year, all things equal. And its back at Saitama City Hall for the first time in four years.
Urawa Unagi / Eel Festival
The Urawa Unagi or Eel festival was started to promote a style of eel cooking started in Urawa in the Edo Period. The unagi bento are the focal point of the festival, but you can also watch eel cooking demonstrations and even try your hand at catching some live eel! They also sell other local produce at the festival. In addition, local school children put on a mini dance show!
The event is so popular that a few years ago they started selling tickets for the bento in advance! Moreover, each year they keep increasing the number of tickets available. In 2023, they will sell 1200 tickets in advance from Tuesday May 9th. There are also 800 tickets available on the day. They go on sale from 8.30 am and you can pick up your bento box from 10 am. A ticket costs 1900 yen. You can buy up to two tickets per person (in previous years it was three). The advance tickets are sold at a booth in front of the Urawa Parco at Urawa Station’s east exit.
Event: Urawa Unagi Festival 第20回さいたまし浦和うなぎ祭り
Date: Saturday May 27th 2023
Time: 10 am to 3 pm. If the event is cancelled due to rain it will be announced by 8 am on the day, on the official website linked at the bottom of the post.
Venue: on the day – Saitama City Hall, 6 Chome-4-4 Tokiwa, Urawa Ward, Saitama, 330-9588. View on Google Maps. For ticket purchases – in front of Parco Urawa, 11-1 Higashitakasagocho, Urawa Ward, Saitama, 330-0055. View on Google Maps.
The unagi festival is held at the Saitama City Hall in Urawa. The nearest station is the Urawa Station which is about a 15 to 20 minute walk from the venue. Naka-urawa station is also within walking distance. It takes about 20 minutes on foot from Naka Urawa Station to Saitama City Hall. Please note: there is no parking available.
This post was temporarily off the website during the pandemic. It was republished on April 27th 2023.