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What to Do in Chichibu

Chichibu is a small and attractive city surrounded by mountains located to the northwest of Tokyo, in Saitama Prefecture. The city has a long history, with its main shrine, the impressive Chichibu Jinja, dating back more than 1000 years, and the city later developed as a key trading center for silk fabrics.

Index

  • Time your visit with a local festival

  • Fruit Picking

  • BBQ at Tenku School

  • Explore nature

  • Sample the local delicacies

  • Time your visit with a local festival

    Time your visit with a local festival

    Time your visit with a local festival

    These days the city is best known for the many festivals (matsuri) which take place throughout the year, the most famous being the Chichibu Yomatsuri, a spectacular night festival which is held every year on December 2nd and 3rd. The main climax of the event is on the second night, when lavishly decorated wooden floats are pulled through the streets and hauled up a steep slope in front of the city hall, where huge crowds are gathered. This is then followed by a long (over 2 hours!) firework display; one of the few chances to see fireworks during the winter season in Japan.

    Time your visit with a local festival

    Time your visit with a local festival

    If you can’t make it to this festival, then there are plenty of others you can catch at other times of the year. The Kawase Matsuri is Chichibu’s main summer festival, taking place on July 19th and 20th. In similar fashion to the Yomatsuri it is full of lively crowds, lots of delicious street food and large wooden floats pushed down the narrow streets, but here on the second day a 400kg portable wooden shrine is carried into the waters of the Arakawa River, where it is ritually washed. There are a number of other interesting festivals held in the city at other times of the year, so try to time your visit to coincide with one.

  • Fruit Picking

    Fruit Picking

    Fruit Picking

    At Blueberry Garden Tsurumaki just to the north west of the city, visitors can walk through thick groves of blueberry bushes, picking and eating the delicious sweet berries as they go. Some 60 varieties of blueberries grow in the Chichibu from June until the end of summer, and there are also many other fruit picking farms to visit, with strawberries in season from January to June and grapes in the latter half of the year.

  • BBQ at Tenku School

    BBQ at Tenku School

    BBQ at Tenku School

    For something slightly different, in the hills north of the city you can find Tenku School, an old school building which has been converted into an outdoor BBQ and live music area, with stunning views of the valley.

  • Explore nature

    Explore nature

    Explore nature

    Nearby is another fascinating place to visit, Suisenji Shrine in the Minano-machi district. This attractive wooden shrine sits in a wonderfully peaceful and secluded spot, surrounded by nature, and is a great place to wander and contemplate.

  • Sample the local delicacies

    Sample the local delicacies

    Sample the local delicacies

    If you want to try some authentic local food, then about 4km west of Chichibu station is Genroku, a rustic restaurant best known for its soba (buckwheat) noodles. But you can also sample other mouth-watering delicacies such as tempura, wild venison salami, and the local specialty, waraji katsudon.

    Chichibu is about an hour and a half from Tokyo, with the two main stations, Chichibu and Seibu Chichibu situated on the Seibu Chichibu Line. There are express trains from Ikebukuro in central Tokyo, and the journey takes around 80 minutes. Extra trains are in service on December 3rd for the Chichibu Yomatsuri.

    Chichibu
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibushi Miyakawachou
    Phone
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    Chichibu-jinja Shrine
    rating 218 Reviews
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibushi Bambamachi 1-3
    Phone
    0494220262
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    Blueberry Garden Tsurumaki
    Address
    Saitama Chichibu Shimoyoshida 5474
    Phone
    0494771041
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    Tenku no Gakko
    rating 1 Reviews
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibugunminanomachi Kamihinozawa 652
    Phone
    0494625431
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  • Motoroku Ogano
    rating 2 Reviews
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibugunoganomachi Shimogano 824
    Phone
    0494750456
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