Yoshitaka koinobori Sayama

“Yoshitaka Koinobori” is the name of a display of carp streamers in Sayama City. Most koinobori are hung high, so you can only appreciate them from a distance. But in Sayama City they hang them low. This really thrills children as they can get up close to them. You will see many children running among them joyously, which you just don’t really see often at other koinobori displays.

Yoshitaka Koinobori

Yoshitaka carp streamers koinobori in sayama

Reportedly, the carp streamers are in memory of Minamoto no Yoshitaka, a young military commander who was executed in this area at just 11 years old (some say 12 years old). The story of the boy and his family featured in a popular, historical NHK drama “The 13 Lords of the Shogun”. The English language blog “Wild in Japan“, has a few articles about Yoshitaka. (I have no affiliation to this website, just came across it in my research).

They use about 100 koinobori in this display, which is along the Irumagawa at Nico Nico Terrace. The koinobori that they use were donated or handed down by locals. They are hung not only to commemorate Yoshitaka’s spirit, but also to pray for the health of local children. Information and the photo at the top of the post from Saitama Newspaper. The koinobori are up for just four days. From the 3rd to the 6th of May 2024.

Irumagawa Gourmet Festival – Panfes

For the four days that the carp streamers up there will also be a “panfes”, a bread fair. There are approximately 100 booths in total including 25 food trucks, 50 flea market stalls and 25 food stalls. Apart from bread there will also be meat, such as hamburgers and chicken dishes. Some stalls will sell refreshments too, including alcohol.

From my understanding, Panfes is just one installment of the Irumagawa Gourmet Festival. As far as I can tell, they will have other installments at a later date. Such as a Gyozafes, Curryfes, Ramenfes etc. And, fyi, this park has a really nice Starbucks with a playground.


Event: Yoshitaka Koinobori and Irumagawa Gourmet Festival – Panfes 2024. 義高の鯉のぼり・入間川グルメフェスティバル

Dates: from Friday May 3rd to Monday May 6th 2024.

Time: from noon to 4 pm on the 3rd, from 9 am to 4 pm on the 4th and 5th, and from 9 am to noon on the 6th.

Cost: there is no admission fee

Venue: Irumagawa Nico Nico Terrace 入間川にこにこテラス (Riverbank Central Park 河川敷中央公園), 2910-1 Kashiwabara, Sayama, Saitama 350-1335. View on Google Maps.

The park is about a 20 minute walk from Sayamashi station (west exit best) on the Seibu Shinjuku line. The parking is limited. Moreover, this area is notorious for always being congested, even on a weekday. It will be even more congested with the festival. Moreover, they may use the parking lot for some of the festival stalls. Where possible, it is best to come by public transport.

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