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What's Cool

Koinobori Swim Breezily Across the Sky

Part 2

Koinobori Events Around Japan

A wide variety of events featuring koinobori are held throughout Japan in the spring. One striking example is Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. Multicolored koinobori from wire strung across the Sagamigawa River have been flown every year since 1988. Family and friends gather along the riverbanks to take in the spectacular scene of a multitude of fluttering carp. With donated koinobori from local families, the school of carp “swimming” across the Sagamigawa River is said to number 1,200.


The Sagamigawa River Festival; approximately 1,200 koinobori hang from wire strung across the river.


Tatebayashi sets the Guiness world record for the most koinobori hung in one place. The event was held at the beginning of April so spectators could enjoy the colorful koinobori against the backdrop of the blossoming cherry trees.

Tatebayashi City in Gunma Prefecture hosts the Koinobori Festival around cherry blossom season. At the heart of this festival, held to appeal for the “health and happiness of all Tatebayashi residents,” are streams of koinobori hanging from an array of ropes strung above the city's Tsuruudagawa River. To mark the 50th anniversary of the city's founding, residents organized a major event in 2004 to set a new Guiness world record by flying 5,283 koinobori. The event has since attracted tourists from across the country.


A “Jumbo Koinobori ” hung by truck crane flies the skies above Kazo City. The massive streamer weighs 350 kilograms
(© photo courtesy of The Tokyo Shimbun).

Kazo City in Saitama Prefecture is a well-known center of koinobori artisanship, and the city demonstrates this by flying a 100 meter-long streamer during its annual City Peace Festival every May. Requiring a large truck crane to position, the massive koinobori is hung as a prayer for peace and children's health and happiness.

A long-running tradition wishing for the well-being of children, koinobori is enjoyed as unique and captivating local festivities throughout Japan today.

(Updated in June 2011)