Alex Abian

The history of the Kawagoe Hikawa Festival dates back to the middle of the 17th century. Nobutsuna Matsudaira, the then lord of Kawagoe, ordered the inauguration of a festival to help boost the local economy. Nobutsuna also donated a "Mikoshi" (a portable shrine used to carry a divine spirit) to the Hikawa Shrine, which was located near to Kawagoe castle.

Being close to Edo (the old name for Tokyo), which was then the cultural centre of Japan, Kawagoe adopted the festival style that was popular in Edo at the time. In the Kawagoe Hikawa Festival, the Mikoshi is paraded through the town followed by a procession of faithful townsfolk who pull festival floats called “Dashi”. The festival is held in October of every year.