Festivals & Events
Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival 熊谷うちわ祭
A festival with millions of fans
The Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri is a huge festival held in Kumagaya every year from July 20 to 22. One of the biggest festivals in the region, it attracts over 750,000 visitors each year. Come to see the floats, watch musical performances, and collect some fans.
How to Get There
Kumagaya is conveniently accessed from Tokyo via either shinkansen or the JR Takasaki Line.
The Hokuriku and Joetsu Shinkansen Lines stop at Kumagaya. Alternatively, from Ueno Station, take the JR Takasaki Line to Kumagaya Station. The festival is held throughout the city.
More than 750,000 people visit each year
At 8:00 p.m. on the 22nd, all 12 floats gather around Festival Square, along with over 200,000 people
Traditional Japanese fans beat the summer heat
During the 19th century, shops in Kumagaya began handing out traditional Japanese fans, called uchiwa, to shoppers instead of sekihan (red bean rice served on auspicious occasions). Over time, this tradition grew into a full-fledged festival. Today the fans themselves aren't as crucial to the Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri, but the name remains. Like all modern Japanese summer festivals, it's a good time out on the town.
Legendary figures of Japan
The festival features a colorful parade where 12 massive floats proceed down the town's main streets. Along with the floats march musicians playing drums, gongs, flutes, and other instruments, and there are also yatai, stalls selling food and drink. The floats depict legendary figures from Japanese history such as Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan.
A drumming competition
The highlight of the festival is an event called tatakiai, where young people show off their musical skills by playing drums, gongs, and flutes on floats and at yatai. Enjoy the show and grab some food and snacks from the many vendors around town.
The latest information may differ, so please check the official website
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.
Near Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival
©Saitama Prefectural Museum of the Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds