Yamada Spring Festival

Yamada Spring Festival is held annually in March in the Chichibu area of Saitama Prefecture. It is on in early March, usually on the second Sunday of the month. In 2024, that will be Sunday March 10th. They say the festival marks the coming of Spring. Normally this festival has the first biggish fireworks of the year. But, unfortunately they have cancelled (just the fireworks, not the festival) the fireworks in 2024. It is a big surprise, because the fireworks were launched last year and were even broadcast live.

Yamada Spring Festival and Fireworks

The festival is associated with Tsunemochi shrine in the Yamada area of Chichibu. The festival is popular and well known in the region. Particularly as it is the first festival of the year to feature festival floats. Moreover, the fireworks are usually the first biggish fireworks of the year in Saitama Prefecture. Nowadays, Moominvalley have fireworks in the winter months, but they are only mini fireworks, lasting about 5 minutes. At the Yamada Spring festival they last about 20 minutes as they launch approximately 5000 fireworks. They usually launch the fireworks around 8 pm. However, they will not launch fireworks in 2024.

The 300 hundred year old floats include two yatai floats and one Kasaboko type. They parade the floats in the morning between 8 am and 10.50 am and again between noon and 5.30 pm. There is also a mikoshi (portable shrine) procession between 2.30 and 4 pm. In addition, there are Kagura performances at different times of the day. Moreover, the floats are once again paraded at night, but this time lit up with lanterns. And normally backdropped by magnificent starmine fireworks, but not in 2024.

Image from official site

Information

Event: Yamada Spring Festival 山田の春祭り

Date: Sunday March 10th 2024

Time: 8 am to 11 am, 1 pm to 5 pm, 7 pm to 9 pm

Venue: Tsunemochi shrine and the Yamada area of Chichibu City. Tsunemochi Shrine, 1606 Yamada, Chichibu, Saitama 368-0004. View Tsunemochi shrine on Google Maps.

Access

The shrine is a little tricky to get to by public transport. The nearest station as the crow flies is Onohara station. However, there is no direct route to the station so you are probably better off getting off at Chichibu Station. The shrine is about a 50 minute walk from the station or you can also get a bus bound for Minano and get off at the bus stop called Gakko Mae「学校前」.

By car: the shrine is about a 40 minute drive from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu highway. There is charged parking for about 300 cars. It costs 500 yen per car.

Nearby

Official event page on the official Chichibu area website. They used to have a website just for the festival, but its no longer live.

Editor’s note: this event post was temporarily removed from the website during the pandemic. It was republished on February 25th 2023.

2 Comments

    1. Author

      It must be upwards of 10,000, maybe ten times that. This area alone has 400 festivals a year, just one area of Saitama. In fairness, this area is known for having a festival almost everyday so not every district would have that many, but still… yeah, I agree… HUGE number!

Comments are always appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.