Warabi hata festival

The Warabi Hata festival is an annual festival in celebration of the star festival, or “tanabata” as it is called in Japanese. If the 7th of August falls on a weekend they have a four day festival, but last year they also had a four day festival even though the 7th was a Monday. Otherwise, they have a three day festival on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of August. As is the case in 2024. August 7th is one of two Tanabata dates: Tanabata is either celebrated on August 7th or July 7th. You can enjoy the decorations and festive atmosphere along a one kilometer stretch of the Nakasendo Trail near Warabi station for the period of the festival.

The festival started in 1951, but the 70th anniversary of the festival ended up being in 2022, because of the pandemic. The festival is not just a celebration of the star festival, but also a way to pray for the textile industry that once thrived in Warabi. When the festival started the cotton industry thrived in Warabi. Reportedly, the man said to have developed the cotton industry in Warabi, started his textile industry on August 7th.

Warabi Hata Festival in 2024

This year the festival is on from Friday August 2nd to Sunday August 4th. During the festival large paper streamer “tanabata” decorations adorn the Nakasendo trail at the west exit of Warabi station. There are also bamboo trees to which you can tie your star festival wishes. Strips of colored paper are provided.

Image from the prefectural website

In addition, there are at least two “live stage” areas. The Starlight stage, at Warabi Station west exit and another stage at Kawaguchi Saishin bank. The Starlight stage tends to have live music, while Saishin bank stage generally has dance performances. Also, the day before tanabata there is generally a traditional dance parade from around 5 pm.

On tanabata itself, August 7th, there is usually a ceremony at Warabi shrine at 9 am.

Information

Event: Warabi Hata Festival 2024 第72回わらび機まつり

Dates: August 2nd to 4th 2024.

Time: from 1.30 to 9 pm.

Cost: there is no admission fee.

Venue: In and around the west exit of Warabi Station, 1 Chome-23-1 Central, Warabi, Saitama 335-0004. View on Google Maps.

Official event page

Access

You can access the festival from Warabi station, which is on the Keihin-Tohoku line. Most of the festivities are around the West exit of the station. It is advised, where possible, to come by public transport.

For more things to do in Saitama in summer. And you can find summer events here.

20210731

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