Jul 12
~
Jul 14

Sawara Summer Grand Festival

10:00am – 10:00pm
Free

Giant floats. Traditional music and dance. Old Edo vibes and boat rides. Get ready for the Sawara Grand Festival in Katori, Chiba, one of the three major float festivals in the Kanto region.

What happens?

If traditional Japanese festivals pique your interest, the Sawara Grand Festival in Katori, Chiba, is a must-see event. It has been recognized as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan and is registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

The Sawara Grand Festival takes place twice: in summer and autumn. The summer festival takes place from July 12 to 14, while the autumn edition will start on October 11 and end on October 13, 2024.

Sawara grand festival
Photo by Value Management Co., Ltd.

This vibrant festival features parades of ornately decorated floats, traditional music, and participants dressed in historical costumes. A perfect blend of history and festivity, it promises to be a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

How to get there

Sawara is an excellent day-trip destination from Tokyo. Alternatively, if you have time, you could also spend a night or two there to truly soak in the vibes.

Here are your transportation options:

Train

From Shinjuku, the trip takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes by train, and costs around ¥1,900. First, make your way to Bakurocho Station. Then, change to the Sobu Line (Rapid) headed towards Narita Airport. At Narita Station, change to the local Narita Line train headed towards Choshi. In about 30 minutes (five stops), you’ll arrive at JR Sawara Station. The main historic district is about 15 minutes from the station on foot.

Highway bus

  • Option 1: Take the Kantetsu Green Bus from JR Tokyo Station Yaesu south Exit, bound for Hokota/Aso. Get off at the Yasaka bus stop.
  • Option 2: Go to Bus Stop No. 14 on B2 floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu. Catch the Sawara Route or Omigawa-Sawara Route bus. Get off at Sawara Station North Exit. The bus takes approximately 90 minutes and costs ¥1,900. Cash and transportation IC cards (e.g. Suica, PASMO) are accepted.

There is a paid shuttle boat and shuttle bus that transports people from the parking lot located along the Tone River to the festival venue. For the full Sawara experience, opt for the boat!

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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