What is Children’s Day?
Once referred to as Boys’ Day, Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi ) is the last holiday celebrated during Golden Week in which the health + future success of children is prayed for by families. As the holiday first originated with the celebration of boys, many families still display samurai armor and kabuto helmets inside their homes. In addition to the samurai pieces people hang carp streamers (“Koi-Nobori”) as these fish are well-known for pushing upstream battling tough currents and overcoming obstacles symbolizing both strength and success. They are displayed as a symbol of the elder generations hope that kids will grow up strong and healthy!
Sagami River at Sagamihara Streamer Carp Festival
We celebrated Children’s Day in 2018 on banks of the Sagami River close to Takada Bridge at Sagamihara Streamer Carp Festival. This specific festival has been held for 30+ years and has five iconic wires that hang across the river with over a thousand carp streamers swimming in the sky.
Lots of street food vendors and the Sagami itself make for a great place to just hang out for the afternoon. Just don’t forget the sunscreen as there isn’t a ton of shade! Bring some chairs and setup along the rocky banks of the river or find a green space and pitch a pop-up tent for the day to enjoy the thousands of koi swimming in the sky.
Honestly, the carp streamers are beautiful and the food is delicious, but possibly our favorite part of the festival is its ability to absorb the inevitable crowds during Golden Week. Sure the food and game stalls are busy, but there is plenty of opportunity to celebrate without having to stand in line or be surrounded by a ton of people and well, we really dig that.
There is parking available and perhaps if you’re brining a pop-up tent or some chairs to sit along the river’s edge driving is the best option. If you’re taking public transport you’ll want to get off the train at Sagamihara Station. Then take the bus from the Sagamiharaekiminamiguchi Bus Stop to Fureaikagakukanmae Bus Stop (this ride is ~20minutes in length). The festival is an easy 15min walk from the bus stop.
- Hours: 0900-1800
- Admission: Free
- Parking: Free (dirt lot)
Happy Children’s Day!