The Kawagoe Festival is host to a large number of Edo-kei Kawagoe-gata festival floats built by Edo and Kawagoe craftsmen.
The structure of the festival floats has developed in the Edo style consisting in having 2 stories floats and a doll.
2 stories floats (Andon) are constructed on a 4 or 3-wheeled base, and the doll and protruding part of the upper storey are each constructed on a trapdoor-style elevator. Originally, this was a device to allow these parts to retract when passing through castle gates.
In front of the float is the hayashidai (stage) covered by a karahafu (undulating bargeboard) or a ranma (transom). Many festival floats feature a rotating stage on top of the base that can horizontally rotate 360 degrees.
The festival floats are painted with red and black lacquer, and gold leaf is also used. The carvings on the balustrades and edges are of Japanese zelkova wood, and are in the inlaid style. Furthermore, the upper and lower stories of floats are adorned by being draped in a vividly colored gold and silver embroidered curtain.
In the same way as these curtains and carvings, many festival floats feature design flourishes that are linked with the dolls that are their central theme. Festival floats that may at first seem the same will reveal subtle and interesting differences on closer inspection. Each boasting its own unique qualities, these festival floats are all highly individual.