Sawara Grand Festival


The 2024 Sawara Summer Festival is scheduled to take place from the 12th to the 14th of July.

The 2024 Sawara Autumn Festival is scheduled to take place from the 11th to the 13th of October.

Experience over 300 years of history at the Sawara Grand Festival designated a UNESCO Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.

Celebrated twice a year - once in summer and once in autumn, providing two opportunities to witness one of the Kanto Region's biggest float festivals.

The Sawara Grand Festival also referred to as the Gion Festival, features a procession of 10 floats that are pulled through Honjuku, the eastern district of Sawara's Historical District, along the Ono River.

Similarly, during the Sawara Grand Autumn Festival, 14 floats are paraded through Shinjuku, the western district. These magnificient floats are adorned with towering dolls, reaching an impressive height of up to four meters.

Access and information listed below.

Float that goes in riverbank

A float passes a willow tree along the Ono River.

Waka-gashira with beat stick

The cracking sound made by wooden clappers signals a new action.

Sawara summer festival

Floats pass each other on a narrow road, a feat that requires great skill.

Sawara Shinjuku autumn festival

The town block that has carried out its duty of organizing the festival for the past three years moves their float to the back of the line.

Shuttle boat that goes in Onogawa

A shuttle boat transports people from the parking lot located along the Tone River to the festival scene

Float festival of Sawara

Both adults and children play a leading role in these festivals

Waka-shu with lever

Young men use large wooden poles to maneuver the float

Rest in evening

Lanterns are prepared as the evening approaches

Float rotation

The float is spun in a unique manner, etching the Japanese character 'no'(の) on the concrete

Yasaka Shrine precincts

Many food stalls line Yasaka Shrine

Float tour

Floats pass through Sawara’s Historical District



Sawara Grand Summer Festival (Gion Festival)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday following July 10th
Sawara Grand Autumn Festival
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the weekend of the second Saturday of October






By train: Walk 15 minutes from JR Sawara Station. (Please refer to the train timetable.)
By car: Approx. 10 minutes from Sawara-Katori IC on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway.
By highway bus:

  • Take the Kantetsu Green Bus from JR Tokyo Station Yaesu south Exit, bound for Hokota/Aso.

     Get off at the Yasaka bus stop.

  • 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 (佐原駅北口).

The bus takes approximately 90 minutes and costs 1,900 yen. Cash and transportation IC card (e.g. Suica, PASMO) are accepted.
There is a shuttle boat and shuttle bus that transports people from the parking lot located along the Tone River to the festival scene:
Hours of Operation: 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

  • Shuttle Boat
    • One-way
      • Adults: 600 yen
      • Children: 300 yen
    • Round trip
      • Adults: 1,000 yen
      • Children: 500 yen
  • Shuttle Bus
    • One-way
      • Adults: 300 yen
      • Children: 200 yen
    • Round trip
      • Adults: 500 yen
      • Children: 300 yen


Free (Tone River Riverbed Parking Lot)


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Katori City Commerce and Tourism Division
Phone: 0478-50-1212

Suigo Sawara Tourism Association
Phone: 0478-52-6675


商工観光課 観光班
〒287-8501 千葉県香取市佐原ロ2127番地 (市役所3階)