Official

Kumagaya Fan Festival
(Uchiwa Matsuri)

The largest Gion Festival in the Kanto area with its musical accompaniment, dashi(float) and yatai (food stalls)

Festivals and Events

The Yasaka Shrine Festival is held for three days from July 20 to 22 every year. This festival is called the best Gion Festival in the Kanto area because it is so rich in pageantry.

The origin of the name "Uchiwa Matsuri'' is told that the owner of Senshuro, a Japanese restaurant, started distributing them at summer festivals around 1902. Influenced by the Tenno Festival, which was known for its uchiwa fans flying around, the owner bought Shibu Uchiwa fans from the long-established uchiwa store Ibasen and started distributing them at festivals in Kumagaya. The appearance of these fans was well received, and later, each store also put out fans with their store name and other information on them, so the festival became known as the "Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri ".

The whole festival begins with the "Togyo Festival" of 10.5 km, which lasts about 3.5 hours. On the second day, the floats(called dashi) and food stalls (called yatai) of each town line up for a parade. The second day's festival is called "Junko Festival". On the last day, all 12 floats and yatai gather together for the "Hikkawase-Tatakiai(pounding each other)", which is the climax of the festival. After that, the portable shrine(called mikoshi) returns to the main shrine, which is called "Kangyo Festival". The whole festival ends quietly in a solemn atmosphere.
This is a sacred festival that you should experience at least once.

Highlights

  • The largest Gion Festival in the Kanto region.
  • The festival is held for three days.
  • The culmination of the festival is the "Hikkawase-Tatakiai".
  • It is a ritual to pray for protection against plague.

Photos

  • "Junko Festival" where dashi and yatai parade in a line

    "Junko Festival" where dashi and yatai parade in a line

  • The climax of the festival, “Hikkawase-Tatakiai"

    The climax of the festival, “Hikkawase-Tatakiai"

  • Fans you can get when you put money into the mikoshi

    Fans you can get when you put money into the mikoshi

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Details

Name in Japanese
熊谷うちわ祭
Postal Code
360-0046
Address
44 Kamakuracho, Kumagaya City, Saitama
Telephone
048-501-5915 (Uchiwa Matsuri Festival Sponsorship Secretariat)
Entrance Fee
Free
Date
July 20, 21, 22
Access
(1) About a 10-minute walk from Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki Line and Chichibu Railway.
(2) About 20 minutes by car from Higashi Matsuyama Interchange of Kanetsu Expressway
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)