Hot Air Balloon Ride Tokorozawa

A highly popular monthly event at Japan's first airfield

Oct 12th
When: Tuesday - Oct 12th 2021
While this event is confirmed, coronavirus (COVID-19) measures may result in sudden cancellation, postponement or changes to the event format (eg online only). While we do our best to keep our listings updated, please check the official event website for the latest info.

Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park marks the site of Japan's very first airfield, which opened on April 1st 1911. The airfield has long since ceased to exist, but the original runway is actually still visible and has been incorporated into the park. The park opened to the public in 1978 and has been a popular destination for locals and international tourists ever since.

You will find several attractions at the park including the renowned Tokorozawa Aviation Museum, playgrounds, water play areas, food vans, tree house, barbecue, seasonal flowers and a regular flea market which is just one of several annual events. But it is the monthly hot air balloon ride that draws the most interest of all. (The flea market is temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, but the hot air balloon ride is not).

The Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park offers the general public the chance to ride in a barrier free hot air balloon for just ¥2000 (¥1000 for children over 6, children under 6 can ride for free). On a clear day you can often see both Mt Fuji and Tokyo Skytree when the balloon ascends. The event is usually on once a month, but during the summer holidays they have two dates for this extraordinary event. And this year, 2021, for the second year in a row, they will also have two dates in December. They take a break in January and February. The event takes place early morning, usually 7 am.

Due to the pandemic you now have to book a coveted place online. They take the first 100 bookings monthly. Please note that once the booking form opens for a given month, the 100 positions are usually taken very quickly. The link for reservations generally goes live on the 1st or 2nd of the month and stays live until the positions are filled. If you are getting a dead end when you click the booking form it means all the positions have been taken and registration is closed.

Remaining 2021 Dates

  • September 12th - however, this one is already full
  • October 10th
  • November 14th (Saitama Day, a school holiday for children in Saitama Prefecture)
  • December 5th
  • December 26th

Getting there

The park is located close to Koku koen Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line, approximately 30 to 45 minutes from central Tokyo.

There are a number of parking areas in the park. The parking by the aviation museum is closest. The phone number for a car navi is 04-2998-4388.

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Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog for 14 of them.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.  Be sure to stop by my website where you will find 600 things to do in Saitama and 400 active events! 

Join the discussion

Kim 2 weeks ago
That's a bargain price for a hot air balloon ride! In Australia it typically costs several hundred dollars!