Kasukabe’s Giant Kite Festival

Massive kites rise above the Edo River

By Elizabeth Scally    - 1 min read
May 3
May 5
Venue: Large kite flying festival venue When: May 3rd - May 5th 2020 ,  10:00am - 5:00pm

Imagine gathering 100 of your neighbors, tying lines onto a small pickup truck, and hoisting it into the sky. It sounds like an impossible feat, but every year in Golden Week, residents of Kasukabe City celebrate the holiday by flying giant, and heavy, kites over the Edo River.

The giant kites featured in the festival take months to construct from bamboo and paper. The two largest kites are each 15 m tall and 11 m wide. That’s equivalent to 100 tatami mats. They each weigh 800 kg, about the same weight as a small car. The small kites are 15 m tall and they weigh 150 kg.

The festival, which started in the Edo Period, began as an agricultural festival and later transformed into a celebration of Children’s Day, May 5. On the riverbank, you will see teams of 100 people heaving on the lines to raise each kite. It’s a startling sight to see tiny elementary school students lift a kite many times taller than they are.

Getting there

A shuttle bus from the west exit of Minamisakurai Station on the Tobu Urban Park Line runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. One way fare is ¥200. Elementary school students ride for free.

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Elizabeth Scally

Elizabeth Scally @elizabeth.scally

You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too. 

Join the discussion

Kim B 2 weeks ago
Ah! I love seeing these events! We have a few in Niigata happening around this time of year too! :)
Kim B 2 weeks ago
Yes! There are some big kite festivals out here too!
Bonson Lam 2 weeks ago
I remember seeing a giant kite festival on NHK last week, but didn't know where it was. This is a great celebration of the local community, and working together for something big.
Bonson Lam 2 weeks ago
Fantastic!!! You can be my local detective!
Elena Lisina 2 weeks ago
So huge kites!!! WOW!
Elena Lisina 2 weeks ago
Unbelievable!!! O_O
Sleiman Azizi 2 weeks ago
I'll keep this comment simple. Kites are fun. There. I said it.
Elizabeth Scally Author 2 weeks ago
You know, Kasukabe City calls for volunteers every year....