Chichibu area

Chichibu area

Nature(Flowers)

Shibazakura (Shibazakura Hill, Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu)FlowersSpring

Shibazakura (Shibazakura Hill, Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu)

This is a flower spot covered with 9 varieties and more than 400,000 roots of the tiny Shibazakura (Phlox subulata), where you can enjoy the leisurely flow of time amidst the beauty of nature. <In bloom: mid-April to early May>

Approximately a 15-minutes walk from Yokoze Station or Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Winter Sweet (Hodosan Winter Sweet Garden)FlowersWinter

Winter Sweet (Hodosan Winter Sweet Garden)

Fragrant flowers of about 2,500 winter sweet trees bloom. The little elegant yellow flowers fill the area with their sweet, gentle fragrance. View them closely and enjoy a wide range of varieties. <In bloom: late January to mid-February>

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Nagatoro Station. Walk 15-minutes and take the Hodosan Ropeway for 5 minutes.

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Nature(Mountains and Rivers)

Nagatoro Whitewater BoatingMountains and River Spring Summer Autumn

Nagatoro Whitewater Boating

Experience the thrill of shooting down the snaking rapids and the dynamic natural scenery along the river. The Arakawa River provides not only a mixture of rapids and gentle flow, but also breathtaking, beautiful scenery that the nature in Nagatoro has long created, such as piles of rocks.

Transfer from the Seibu Chichibu Line at Seibu-Chichibu Station to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Nagatoro Station.

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IwadatamiMountains and RiverAll year

Iwadatami

This is a site designated a national scenic spot and monument where ancient metamorphic rocks form unique banding patterns. On the far shore is a cliff called Chichibu Red Cliff with Myojin Falls.

Transfer from the Seibu Chichibu Line at Seibu-Chichibu Station to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatakae Station) and get off at Nagatoro Station. A 5-minutes walk from the station.

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Lake ChichibuMountains and RiverAll year

Lake Chichibu

Embraced by mountains, the serene waters of the lake exude a mysterious atmosphere. Along the left bank of the Arakawa River is a 2km trail and a long suspension bridge commanding a spectacular view of the Okuchichibu Mountains. Local inns and youth hostels with a lake view are also available around the lake.

Transfer from the Seibu Chichibu Line at Seibu-Chichibu Station to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatakae Station) and get off at Mitsumineguchi Station. Take a bus (30-minutes).

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Mt. BukoMountains and RiverAll year

 Mt. Buko

At 1,304 meters high, Mt. Buko towers over the Chichibu Basin. From the observation deck, you can overlook a limestone quarry, townscapes of Chichibu and Yokoze, and Shibazakura in Hitsujiyama Park in spring, and if you look up a little, you can also enjoy a panoramic view of mountains, including Mt. Ryokami, Mt. Jomine, and the mountains in west Joshu.

A 15-minutes walk from Yokoze Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Temples and Shrines

Chichibu ShrineTemples and ShrinesAll year

Chichibu Shrine

This is a tutelary shrine for the entire Chichibu area, and the main shrine, which was rebuilt by Tokugawa Ieyasu in Gongen style, is a prefectural cultural property of Saitama. "Tsunagi no Ryu" and "Kosodate no Tora", brilliant-colored sculptures created by Hidari Jingoro, are also well known.

A 15-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Mitsumine ShrineTemples and ShrinesAll year

Mitsumine Shrine

This shrine is known as a holy place of mountain worship in the Kanto area. Inside the shrine precincts are the images of mountain ascetics, the brilliantly decorated inner shrine, Zuishinmon (gate), Yohaiden (remote worship hall), and the image of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto (Japanese mythological figure).

Get off at Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line and transfer to an express bus bound for Mitsumine Jinja (approximately a 75-minutes bus ride).

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Hodosan ShrineTemples and ShrinesAll year

Hodosan Shrine

The shrine buildings in Gongen style were built in the late Edo period and exude a solemn atmosphere. The Hodosan Ropeway runs from Sanroku Station near the shrine to the mountaintop, showcasing the beautiful scenery of the mountain range of Chichibu and the Chichibu Basin.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Nagatoro Station. A 12-minutes walk from the station.

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Pilgrimage to Sacred Temples in Chichibu

Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in ChichibuTemples and ShrinesAll year

Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu

The pilgrimage road connecting the 34 sacred temples in Chichibu extends over a distance of about 100 km from No. 1 Shimabuji Temple to No. 34 Suisenji Temple. They are scattered in the mountains around Chichibu City, and a leisurely rural landscape with seasonal wild flowers and simple stone images of Buddha unfolds along the pilgrimage road connecting the temples.

Get off at Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Kinshoji Temple(Sacred temple #4)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Kinshoji Temple

Go through the Niomon Gate with big straw sandals hanging from it, and you will find a place filled with no less than 1,319 stone Buddha images. The famous image of Kosodate Kannon (child-rearing goddess) is located on the right side of the main hall corridor. The figure of Kannon holding and breast-feeding a baby in her lap is truly lovely.

Get off at Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line and transfer to the Seibu sightseeing bus bound for Sadamine/Minano Station. Get off at Kinshoji bus stop (18-minutes). A 5-minutes walk from the bus stop.

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Bokuunji Temple(Sacred temple #6)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Bokuunji Temple

The teeth of an old mountain hag and Ogi-no-do Engi Emaki (picture scroll) have been passed down to the temple as temple treasures. Inaridaimyojin, the god of good harvests, is enshrined in the hall on the left side of the main hall.

A 30-minutes walk from Yokoze Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Saizenji Temple (Sacred temple #8)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Saizenji Temple

In the center of the main hall is housed an eleven-faced kannon that is said to have been created by the famous Eshin Souzu or Genshin. The huge Kominekaede (Acer micranthum) tree in the temple precincts is said to be 500 or 600 years old and designated as a prefectural natural treasure.

A 30-minutes walk from Yokoze Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Jigenji Temple(Sacred temple #13)Temples and ShrinesAll year

JJigenji Temple

The main hall in front is built in 3 by 4 style with a Karahafu-style canopy, and the inside is decorated with carvings and a latticed ceiling. It is a small hall, but the design is gorgeous, simple, and balanced. A hexagonal Rindo and images of 13 holy priests are enshrined in the sutra storehouse on the right-hand side of the precinct.

A 4-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Imamiya-bo(Sacred temple #14)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Imamiya-bo

The history of Imamiya-bo is exactly the history of pilgrimages to the sacred temples in Chichibu. The Kannon-do used to be located in the precincts of Hachidaigongen Shrine, and Imamiya-bo used to serve as the governing temple of both the Hachidaigongen Shrine and the Kannon-do. Upon the abolition of the fusion of Shintoism and Buddhism and a ban on ascetic exercises, the shrine and Kannon-do were separated.

A 14-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Shorinji Temple(Sacred temple #15)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Shorinji Temple

The main hall of the Shorinji Temple was built in the last year of the Meiji period and is an unusual temple building with a tiled roof in Irimoya style with a Chidorihafu-style canopy.

An 8-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Saikoji Temple(Sacred temple #16)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Saikoji Temple

After going through the gate, Kannon-do (place where Goddess of Kannon is enshrined) appears in front, which also serves as the main hall and was built in 1710. In the main hall, there is a plaque depicting Buddha at his death with heavenly maidens and animals surrounding him.

A 15-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Ongakuji Temple(Sacred temple #23)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Ongakuji Temple

The temple was reconstructed in 1412. The main hall was originally located closer to the mountaintop, where there is a small temple now. The design of Kannon-do is in 3 by 4 araeosystyle with double rafters instead of a canopy, representing the architectural characteristics of the mid-Edo period.

Get off at Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line and transfer to the Muse Park circuit bus, counterclockwise Gururin. Get off at the Ongakuji bus stop (15-minutes). It is near the bus stop.

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Daienji Temple(Sacred temple #27)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Daienji Temple

Behind the temple is a field of Japanese dog's tooth violets, whose little flowers delight the eye of visitors in spring (In bloom: late March to mid-April). In the precincts, sacred water called Kannnonsan Enmei-sui, which is believed to make one's life longer, springs out.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Kagemori Station. A 10-minutes walk from the station.

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Hashidate-do(Sacred temple #28)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Hashidate-do

The main hall is a vermilion-lacquered structure standing by a 65m steep cliff. In the hall, the image of 28cm-tall Bato Kannon is enshrined, which is believed to have been created during the Kamakura period.

Transfer from the Seibu Chichibu Line at Seibu-Chichibu Station to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Urayamaguchi Station. A 15-minutes walk from the station.

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Suisenji Temple(Sacred temple #34)Temples and ShrinesAll year

Suisenji Temple

There is a sandbox containing sand collected from Japan's 100 sacred Kannon temples in front of the main hall. The image of the god enshrined here is believed to have been carved from one tree during the Muromachi period. The image of Amitabha in the western pure land representing the western part of Japan and the image of Yakushinyorai in the eastern light world representing the eastern part of Japan are placed on each side of the main image.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Minano Station. Take a Minano town bus for the Hinozawa Line and get off at Fudasho-mae bus stop (20-minutes). A 3-minutes walk from the bus stop.

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History/Places of historical interest

Buko BreweryHistory/Places of historical interest All year

Buko Brewery

This brewery, famous for its high-quality sake, Buko Masamune, was founded 257 years ago. Visitors are welcome to tour the brewery (Reservations required). In the inner courtyard is a groundwater well that was selected as one of the best waters of the Heisei era. Visitors may drink from the well and bring containers to take the water home. The building itself is a must-see. It is 200 years old and designated a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. Come to experience the history and tradition preserved in their sake. Visitors may drink from the well and bring containers to take the water home. The building itself is a must-see. It is 200 years old and designated a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. Come to experience the history and tradition preserved in their sake.

A 15-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Sakezukuri no Mori (forest of sake breweries)History/Places of historical interestAll year

Sakezukuri no Mori (forest of sake breweries)

In the 262 years since it was founded in 1749 (Kan' en 2), this sake brewery has practiced the basic principles of Oumi merchants and their business philosophy of "san hou yoshi (an ethic of business practice in which all parties concerned, the seller, the buyer and the people are satisfied)," and as Chichibunishiki "Sakezukuri no Mori (Forest of sake breweries," they create and sell seishu (clear sake) "Chichibunishiki," shochu (distilled spirit) "Danbei," and wine "Chateau Chichibu." Sake Brewery Museum (entrance fee: 200 yen); Sake brewery tours (reservations required, no charge) Tourist Center (Sells seishu, shouchu, wine, and local specialties of Chichibu. No entrance fee, free sake tasting.)

Get off at Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line and transfer to the Muse Park circuit bus, Gururin. Get off at the Sakezukuri-no-Mori bus stop. A 1-minute walk from the bus stop.

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Saitama Museum of Natural HistoryHistory/Places of historical interestAll year

Saitama Museum of Natural History

This museum introduces the natural formation of Saitama by faithfully reproducing the strata and living organisms from ancient times to the present. The skeletal specimen of a sea creature, Paleoparadoxia, which lived 15,000,000 years ago, is a world-rare exhibit.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Kami-Nagatoro Station.

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Festivals

Chichibu Night Festival Festivals All year

Chichibu Night Festival

This is an annual festival of Chichibu Shrine with a history of over 300 years and is designated one of Japan's top three float festivals. During the festival, two types of gorgeously decorated floats, Yatai and Kasahoko, parade through the town and more than several thousand fireworks, including set pieces, are displayed at Hitsujiyama Park, among which star mines are a must-see.

A 10-minutes walk from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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Chichibu Festival HallFestivalsEarly December

Chichibu Festival Hall

This hall was built to enable people to feel the excitement of the Chichibu Night Festival at any time, where full-size Yatai and Kasahoko are displayed.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Chichibu Station. It is near the station.

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Nagatoro Funadama FestivalFestivalsAll year

Nagatoro Funadama Festival

This is a traditional event in Nagatoro, a town famous for whitewater boating. After dark, boats decorated with paper lanterns and about 1,000 individual lanterns are floated on the waters of the Arakawa River to pray for the repose of drowned persons, creating an otherworldly atmosphere.

Transfer at Seibu-Chichibu Station from the Seibu Chichibu Line to the Chichibu Railway (Ohanabatake Station) and get off at Nagatoro Station. A 5-minutes walk from the station.

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Amusement Parks and Shopping

Seibu Chichibu Nakamise Shopping PromenadeAmusement Parks and Shopping Mid-August

Seibu Chichibu Nakamise Shopping Promenade

This is a shopping arcade that also serves as a walkthrough from Seibu-Chichibu Station to Ohanabatake Station of the Seibu Railway. There are 20 stores that showcase local flavors, specialties, and souvenirs that only Chichibu can offer.

In the concourse of Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Chichibu Line.

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