Kawagoe Festival 2020 is cancelled due to COVID-19.
Kawagoe Festival 2020 is cancelled due to COVID-19.
The promotion of the Chinju-Hikawa Festival
by the Kawagoe Castle lord.

History

The promotion of the Chinju-Hikawa Festival
by the Kawagoe Castle lord.

History

Kawagoe Festival (Kawagoe Hikawa Festival Float Event) takes root in the "Reitaisai" festival held at Hikawa Shrine on October 14, and is also consisted of the "Jinkosai" festival and "Float Event (festival)" that are held immediately afterward.

Functionality and true visual splendor of the
"Edo-kei Kawagoe-gata" style.

Festival Floats

Functionality and true visual splendor of the
"Edo-kei Kawagoe-gata" style.

Festival Floats

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.

Kawagoe-matsuri, an Intersection Point of Past, Present and Future.

Feature part1

Kawagoe-matsuri, an Intersection Point of Past,
Present and Future.

Feature part1

In the Edo period, many big festivals took place in Edo, and the festival served to unify the minds of the people, borrowing the “gods’ power” for such a purpose. Thus, the festival had an important role in politics, building autonomous organizations in local communites.

And a festival is an intersection point of the past, present and future. We who now participate in the festival should appreciate our seniors and our ancestors who went before us. We also have to think how to develop the current festival and pass on the heritage to the next generation. We value the invisible but vital past and hand it over to the future. This is the power of the festival, and why we preserve this important event.

Go and See Kawagoe-matsuri from Edo Days.

Feature part2

Go and See Kawagoe-matsuri from Edo Days.

Feature part2

The Kawagoe Festival is a unique event that is still held the same way big festivals were held in the Edo Period (1603-1868).

It features impressive floats called dashi that parade through the town and face each other in performance “battles” of the hayashi music. In order to fully enjoy the festival, here is some in-depth information about the festival’s distinctive traits, schedule and access.

Watching the Construction of a Dashi Float.

Behind the Kawagoe Festival

Watching the Construction of a Dashi Float.

Behind the Kawagoe Festival

On an early, cloudy Friday morning we make our way through the streets of Kawagoe.

At this hour the tourists are not yet roaming the shop-lined streets and the town is quiet. Long decorative banners called kōhaku-maku (lit. red and white curtains) are already hanging on the side of the streets and under the shop roofs, building up the excitement for the upcoming festival. This is called nokiba-zoroe.

A report from the 2019 Kawagoe Festival.

Inside the Kawagoe Festival

A report from the 2019 Kawagoe Festival.

Inside the Kawagoe Festival

After learning the history of the festival and watching all the preparations we are very excited to experience the real thing! On Sunday October 20, the second and final day of the festival, we arrive to Kawagoe around 9 in the morning.

The only people in the streets at this time are festival stall owners bustling to get the food ready for the day. We make our way to the Kawagoe City Hall where our adventure will begin.

Access
{From Omiya}
Approx. 20mins using JR Kawagoe Line, get off at Kawagoe Station.
{From Ikebukuro}
Approx. 30mins using Tobu Tojo Line, get off at Kawagoe Station.
{From Shinjuku}
Approx. 50mins using JR Saikyo Line Express train, get off at Kawagoe Station.
Or Approx. 45mins using Seibu Shinjuku Line Limited Express train,get off at Honkawagoe Station.
{From Yokohama}
Approx. 78mins using Tokyu Toyoko Line or Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, get off at Kawagoe Station.
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
Nationally Designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties