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Chichibu 34 Kannon Buddhist Temple Circuit

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Chichibu 34 Kannon Buddhist Temple Circuit


Take a pilgrimage to 34 temples rooted in Saitama’s history

Saitama Prefecture



The Chichibu pilgrimage in Saitama Prefecture is one of three circuits of the famous Japan 100 Kannon Pilgrimage. The other two circuits, Saigoku in western Japan and Bando in the east, each have 33 temples, but the Chichibu pilgrimage has 34 temples, including one donated during the sixteenth century.
Though a religious tradition, the Chichibu pilgrimage is one of historical significance and a beautiful hiking route that anyone can enjoy. Its 34 temples dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, are believed to date back to the early 13th century. The temples on the Chichibu pilgrimage are known as fudasho, meaning “places of wooden nameplates,” because in the past, pilgrims would nail wooden placards to the sides of temples to mark their visits.
A relatively short pilgrimage of 100 kilometers, the Chichibu circuit became particularly popular with visitors from nearby Edo (present-day Tokyo) during the seventeenth century. Today, visitors can still take the Edo Pilgrimage Road, the route once followed by pilgrims from Edo during the Edo period (1603–1867).


How to get there

The temples can be visited in order from 1 to 34, or in any order that suits you. Shimabu Temple is officially the first temple on the pilgrimage. 


To get to Shimabu Temple from Tokyo Station, take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro Station (about 15 minutes), then take the Seibu Railway Limited Express Laview to Seibu Chichibu Station (about 1 hour 20 minutes). The temple is about 30 minutes by bus from Seibu Chichibu Station.


418 Tochiya, Chichibu-shi, Saitama-ken

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