※Translated page in Japanese is here※
Do you know Saga Balloon Festival（Fiesta）?
Saga Balloon Fiesta is one of the largest International hot air balloon competition in Asia, held every year from late October to early November at the Kasegawa Riverbed in Saga City.
The first tournament was held in 1980, when 14 hot air balloons participated.
Now, more than 100 hot air balloons are participating.
Actually it is not a festival.
It’s an international tournament that competes for the maneuvering skill of the balloon, but we do not need to know the detailed rules.
Only you can do is to see the beautiful hot air balloons flying in the sky at dawn anyway!
I’m originally from Tokyo, but since I’ve stayed at Saga for business since October of this year, therefore I went to the Saga Balloon Fiesta.
When is the best time to go see？
There are two competitions sections at 7am（morning section） and 3pm（afternoon section）, but if you go, the morning section is recommended!
This is because the balloon is very vulnerable in the wind and even a little wind is judged to be unsuitable for competition and may be canceled.
Looking at the implementation status of past tournaments so far, the competition implementation rate of morning section is probabilistically 80% or more while that of afternoon section is around 40%, so please wake up early and take part in morning section!
However, if you go to see the morning section, it is recommended that you arrive competition venue by 6pm.
This is because the tournament is an international event that attracts visitors from both domestic and overseas and it is very difficult to secure a parking lot because about 1 million people visit there during the event.
What is the best way to get to the venue?
The most common way to get to the venue is to use a car, otherwise train (the station that stops temporarily during this event is close to the venue, but it gets messed up) or bicycle (the most convenient way if your lodgings are close to the venue)
There seems to be a temporary bus, but this is not recommended as it is expected to be very crowded like the train.
Does it deserve to go and watch it with so much difficulties?
The answer is yes.
Please take a look at these photos I took myself.
How is it?
It ’s really beautiful, isn’t it?
There are also interesting balloons
By the way, after the competition, these deformed balloons will be displayed and entertain us.
Night session for only two days
By the way, there is also a night session for only two days of this period.
The balloon is lit up by the flame of the burner and looks very beautiful！
If you see this scenery yourself, you will be impressed, so please come to Saga!
Saga Light Fantasy
During Saga Balloon Festival period, the center of Saga city is also illuminated at night like this.
The illuminations are very fantastic and will make you fun during your stay in Saga.
If you have time, please also go see these night scenary.
40th Anniversary of Saga Balloon Festival（Fiesta）
Actually this year is the anniversary of the 40th anniversary of Saga Balloon Festival（Fiesta）.
Therefore, a special parade was held in the center of Saga City on Nov. 2 in 2019.
The Tokyo Disney’s Parade was held and the main street here was crowded with many parents and children.
Is this really Saga?
As an aside, there are usually few people walking on this boulevard, but during this parade there are people gathering just like the halloween party in Shibuya.
Let me tell you one thing…
Is this really Saga?(lol)
See you here!