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SAITAMA Chichibu Forested mountains, rocky cliffs and colorful fields so close to Tokyo

Forested mountains, rocky cliffs and colorful fields so close to Tokyo

Easily accessible from Tokyo, Chichibu has been a favorite getaway for Tokyo-dwellers since the 19th century because of its pristine beauty. There's a great deal to see and do in Chichibu itself, and it's also a great jumping-off point for the scenic area around the town.

Don't Miss

  • Boat journeys through the rock formations of the Arakawa River
  • Chichibu Yomatsuri's massive, ornate floats and fireworks display
  • A tour of Chichibu's 34 temples
  • The brilliant pink and violet of the blooming shibazakura at Hitsujiyama Park

How to Get There

Chichibu is just an hour and a half from Tokyo and accessible by train.

The Seibu Chichibu Line takes you to Chichibu from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo. From Kumagaya , you can take the Chichibu Railway towards Chichibu. A quicker way to get there is by taking the Seibu Railway Limited Express Laview, which doesn't require you to change stations along the way.

The mountains and valleys of Chichibu

With its forested mountains and valleys, Chichibu is a gorgeous getaway. Near Chichibu is the town of Nagatoro, tucked even deeper into the mountainside. A popular destination since the 19th century, Nagatoro is a tiny mountain town designed for outdoor tourism.

Wind your way through the Arakawa River

In addition to activities like hiking and cycling, the biggest attraction is the Arakawa River , which snakes its way through the town.

The fiery Nakatsu Valley

In the autumn, consider a visit to the Nakatsu Valley. It's listed as one of Japan's 100 best spots for viewing autumn leaves. A view down the valley vista presents you with 10 kilometers of brilliant red and yellow leaves, with a dynamic landscape of cliffs on either side and the hazy mountains in the distance.

Hitsujiyama Park's fields of pink

Another gorgeous spot in Chichibu is Hitsujiyama Park . Hitsujiyama Park has one of the largest fields of shibazakura in all of Japan. At the end of spring, the blooming flowers turn the ground into a carpet of vivid pink, violet, and white.

Catch the Paleo Express

Board the Paleo Express to see the mountains and valleys by train. The Paleo Express is an old historic steam locomotive that winds its way through the mountain valleys and stops at five stations in the Chichibu area, offering a unique way to view the landscape. The train is named after Paleoparadoxia, a marine animal that inhabited the area about 20 million years ago.

The Temple Pilgrimage of Chichibu

The Chichibu Temple Pilgrimage is a path taking you to 34 temples located throughout the area. This route leads to various temples located in both natural surroundings and in residential areas.

Chichibu's night festival

Chichibu is particularly known for its Chichibu Yomatsuri , a nighttime festival held early December each year. During the festival, giant floats light up the night and parade through the town along with mikoshi portable shrines, taiko drummers and dancers (hayashite). The second night culminates in the journey of six large floats up a steep hill nearby, followed by a rare wintertime fireworks display that lasts two and a half hours.

Further exploration

The Chichibu area has famous mountain shrines as well. Hodosan Shrine is an elaborate shrine dating back 2,000 years. It stands right at the foot of Mt. Hodo, surrounded by tall pine trees. Mitsumine Shrine is located even further up the mountains southwest of Chichibu. It's at an altitude of 1,102 meters and often shrouded in fog. Some of the trees on the shrine grounds are over 800 years old.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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