After all these years in Japan going to every matsuri I can, I found a major one I didn’t know about ! I’ve been to Kawagoe before, it’s famous for its streets filled with Edo era houses and stores. These are really impressive buildings that you rarely see elsewhere near Tokyo.
However I didn’t know about the Kawagoe Matsuri, where huge floats (dashi) are carried around the area and enter in some form of competition which enter in some sort of competition called hikkawase. I unfortunately do much research about it before going, but it was truly impressive. The area covered by the festival is huge, and there are hundreds of food stands everywhere.
The crowd is no joke, but it was still very nice to see, especially when the floats go in the old buildings area. On top of that, there are stages everywhere with traditional dances and music. A real trip back to Edo era !
And finally, here’s a video of a “battle” between floats :