“Kawagoe Matsuri” – Summer Japan Festival in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture

5 facts about the festival, “Kawagoe Matsuri”

photo credit: Tokutomi Masaki 川越まつり 2016年10月15日 via photopin (license)

photo credit: Tokutomi Masaki 川越まつり 2016年10月15日 via photopin (license)

1. It happens on the third weekend of October in Kawagoe city every year.
2. It has more than 360 years of history
3. It attracts about one million tourists during the 2 day period.
4. It is designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property
5. It is registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

5 facts about Kawagoe city, Saitama Prefecture

1. The name, “Kawagoe” means “over a river”.
The origin of the name dates back to the Heian era, which was from the 9th century to the 13th century.
It stemmed from the fact the place was surrounded by rivers and you had to cross the river to get to the city.

2. It has a population of about 350,000.
This is the third largest in the Saitama prefecture and 67th in all the cities in Japan.

3. It is famous for sweet potatoes.
The famous “Candy Street” sells many treats related to sweet potatoes, such as sweet potato chips, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato coffee, and even sweet potato beer.

4. It is famous for the old style buildings that it reserves from the Edo era, which was from the 17th century to 19th century.
This attracts around 7 million tourists every year.
Even the Japanese emperor took the Sweeden King, who visited Japan at the time, to Kawagoe, Saitama in 2007.

photo credit: yuki_alm_misa 蔵造りの町並み via photopin (license)

photo credit: Froschmann : かえるおとこ ricksha via photopin (license)


5. This has so many ramen shops and is one of the most competitive ramen places in Japan. Among them is a very famous ramen store, “Gan-ja”, that pioneered a style of ramen called “tsuke-men”. Now “tsuke-men” is everywhere all over in Japan.

photo credit: Tokutomi Masaki iPhone5s 米沢ラーメン愛愛 2013年10月19日 via photopin (license)


This festival, “Kawagoe Matsuri”, started in the Edo era, which was from the 17th century to the 19th century.

In 1645, one of the executives of the government came to Kawagoe and started ruling this city as a feudal lord.
He helped the city recovered from the large wildfire that burned almost everything in the castle town.

Three years later, he donated several portable shrines and drums to the local major temple.
The next year, carrying portable shrines became a religious service and this became the origin of the festival.

Access to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture

It’s just 30 minutes travel by train from the center of Tokyo.


Now, why don’t you see the sight that reserves hundreds of years ago in person?

Let’s head to Kawagoe festival!

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