Kawagoe Festival 2023 was held on October 14 and 15

Kawagoe Festival, the biggest festival in Kawagoe where I live, was held on October 14 and 15. This year’s attendance figures have not yet been announced (574,000 people last year), but it is said that about 900 stalls were set up, more than double last year’s figure of about 400 stalls.

What is the Kawagoe Festival ?  *Reference: Official Information

The Kawagoe Festival was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan in February 2005 under the name of the Float Festival of the Kawagoe Hikawa Matsuri Festival and was included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in December 2016.

The festival started in 1648, the Keian period, when Matsudaira Nobutsuna, the lord of the Kawagoe Domain at the time, contributed the lion’s face masks and mikoshi (portable shrines) to Hikawa Shrine.

Three years later, the mikoshi first paraded through the neighborhood. The citizens joined in at the tail end of the parade. Those are the roots of the current Kawagoe Festival.

What we ate at this festival

Food at festivals is delicious, isn’t it? (A little more expensive than usual, but…)

The first thing I ate at this festival was “Ika-yaki” (Grilled squid). It goes well with beer.

Grilled squid

The next dish was yakisoba. This is another must-have food at Japanese festivals.

Yakisoba (stir-fried noodles)

The last food I ate was takoyaki. Like yakisoba, it is a popular food at festivals, competing for first and second place.

Takoyaki (Octopus balls)

By the way, I went to the Kawagoe Festival for the first time last year, and it’s already been a year. Time really flies by. See last year’s article and video if you like.


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