Kawagoe Matsuri

Party ’till you drop.

That will be the main theme of this blog post. And not just a party, but a huge festival in Kawagoe. The event is held once a year and lasts for two days. The festival already started on the 15th of October, but we were there only on the 16th because of our trip to Nagatoro (click here for the blog post about Nagatoro).

Since we rented a car for two days, we drove to Kawagoe on Sunday morning. After parking the car we started searching for the main area of the festival. And that was pretty easy to find. If you saw road blocks and policemen you knew that you were going into the right direction. And the festival also attracts lots and lots of people, thus you could just follow the mass and you would arrive at your destination.

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Kawagoe Matsuri

 

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Festival float

Decorated festival floats

During this matsuri, special festival floats are pulled around the city. These floats carry beautiful dolls and people. The floats are decorated in bright colors and they are very impressive to see, since they are 3-4 meters high. Wonderful decorations could be seen on the floats as well.

Dolls were placed on the roof tops of these floats. Beneath the roof, some real person would put up a show with drums, flutes and masks. On almost every festival float you could see at least one person with a mask. The masks of the people on the float would differ per float.

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Kawagoe Matsuri

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Masked man

Shining people in stunning Japanese clothes

The people that would join and participate in the festival were also dressed for the occasion. Around the festival floats you would be able to see groups of people wearing the same clothes. These persons would be the ones who would pull the floats around the city.

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People pulling the floats during the festival

When the float were pulled across the city, the procession would be led by small Japanese girls wearing colorful kimonos and carrying iron sticks that would make sounds every single time the girls moved these sticks. Their hair was also done beautifully.

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Girls that led the procession during the festival

Hikkawase

Pulling around the big floats was not even the biggest attraction that the visitors of the festival could see. There were about 20 floats around the city. Whenever two of these floats would meet each other, they would have a showdown. The floats would turn around so that they could face each other. The people wearing the masks were doing all sorts of crazy movements and dances to impress the visitors and the other floats.

 

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Hikkawase

These showdowns would attract lots and lots of people. All of these person would just stand around, making photos and enjoying the show. It was pretty difficult to find a good spot, where you were actually able to see the showdown. In the end we just stood on top of some planters.

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Food, food and more food

The competition between floats was pretty awesome to see, but what was also pretty amazing was the food that you could buy at the festival. From chocolate bananas to different kinds of ice-cream and sausages. All of the food was gorgeous to see and to smell as well. The smells would reach you before you could even see the food. And the tastes: absolutely spectacular.

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Chocolate bananas

Heading home

After a long and awesome day at Kawagoe, we wanted to go home a little bit early to avoid a traffic jam (such as the one we had on the way back from Nagatoro). We walked towards the car and tried to open it. That failed. Hmn, that’s a little bit weird, but whatever we will just use the key to open the doors. Unfortunately that was not the end of it. The car didn’t start anymore. The battery was dead.. So we had to walk to the nearest car rental company and had to ask them to help us. They were very very friendly and fixed our car for us! So it was a weekend with a lot of car troubles (traffic jams and dead batteries), but we had an amazing time (again)!

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Two floats next to each other

Visited on the 16th of October 2016

 

 

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