History and Culture

Chichibu Night Festival

  • Autumn
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

The Chichibu Night Festival, a regular grand festival held at Chichibu Shrine, is a famous festival held in Chichibu on December 2 and 3 of each year. It is considered one of the three great float festivals of Japan, along with the Kyoto Gion Festival and the Takayama Festival. The gorgeous floats are brought out in the morning in the city, and at night a rare wintertime fireworks display is held.

Seibu-Chichibu Station

Ryusei (handmade dragon rockets) Festival

  • Autumn
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This festival is held at Muku Shrine on the second Sunday of October each year. Every year, about 30 dragon rockets are shot high into the sky with a roaring sound. This is famous for appearing in the anime "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day".

Seibu-Chichibu Station

Kawagoe Festival

  • Autumn
  • Kawagoe

This festival is held in Kawagoe on the third Saturday and Sunday of October each year. The main point of interest is watching participants carry the beautifully decorated floats in the main Hikkawase event (float performance competition). At this event, several of the floats face off in a musical competition (flutes, drums, gongs, and dance) leading to an exciting climax at night.

Hon-Kawagoe Station

Chichibu Kawase Festival

  • Summer
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This Chichibu festival is held on July 19 and 20 each year. Children play the main role in this festival, and they look adorable under flowery hats while carrying floats. On the 20th, the ritual of washing the portable shrine is performed by dipping it completely into the Arakawa River.

Seibu-Chichibu Station

Kashiya Yokocho (Alley of Candy Stores)

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This slightly twisting alley is lined with many candy stores from the Edo period. You can discover many simple and nostalgic types of sweets and snacks that you can't help but try our purchase for later, such as rice crackers, hard candy, dango (sweet dumplings), manju (sweet buns), and potato sweets.

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 22 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Chichibu Shrine

  • All year
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This is a shrine to the guardian of the Chichibu region. The main shrine, a Gongen style structure rebuilt by Ieyasu Tokugawa, has been designated as a cultural property of Saitama Prefecture. The richly colored sculptures "Chained Dragon" and "Child-Rearing Tiger", by Hidari Jingoro (a famous sculptor and carpenter who left a splendid sculpture in Nikko Toshogu Shrine), are also tourist favorites.

http://www.chichibu-jinja.or.jp/ (Japanese Website)

Approximately 11 minutes on foot from Seibu-Chichibu Station

Chichibu Festival Museum

  • All year
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

The Chichibu Night Festival represents the Chichibu region. This museum was opened so that visitors can experience the thrill of this festival at any time. Actual-size Yatai and Kasaboko festival floats are on display in the museum.

http://www.chichibu-matsuri.jp/ (Japanese Website)

Approximately 11 minutes on foot from Seibu-Chichibu Station

Hodosan Shrine

  • All year
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This shrine, located at the foot of Mt. Hodo, is dedicated to a god who provides good luck and guards against evil, fire, and theft. This shrine is often crowded with many visitors, because it has a lucky name that includes the character for "treasure". This famous site appears in the 2011 Michelin Green Guide Japan.

http://www.chichibu-omotenashi.com/en/sights.html

Approximately 13 minutes on foot from Nagatoro Station on the Chichibu Railway Line

Mitsumine Shrine

  • All year
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This is one of the famous power spots in the Kanto region. The shrine is located in a grove of cedars that are hundreds of years old. Visitors come from all over Japan to receive power from the ancient cedar trees (estimated at 800 years old) standing on both sides of the stone steps that overlook the front shrine.

http://www.chichibu-omotenashi.com/en/sights.html

Approximately 75 minutes by bus from Seibu-Chichibu Station

Chichibu Meisen (woven fabric)

  • All year
  • Chichibu/Nagatoro

This product, local to Chichibu, was designated as a national traditional craft. It was a popular fabric throughout Japan, and was worn by women in fashionable clothing from the Taisho period until the early Showa period.

Seibu-Chichibu Station

Toki no Kane (Time Bell Tower)

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This bell is the town symbol of Kawagoe. It is said that the bell tower was built about 400 years ago by Tadakatsu Sakai, Lord of Kawagoe Castle. The bell is still rung 4 times each day at 6:00, 12:00, 15:00, and 18:00. The sound of the bell matches this relaxing scenery perfectly. It was selected by the former Environment Agency as one of the "100 Protected Soundscapes of Japan".

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 21 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Kurazukuri Style Storehouses

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

The fire-resistant Kurazukuri style storehouses built during the Edo period can still be seen here. Visitors can experience the culture of the merchants of the Edo period, who were proud of their prosperity. In 2004, this area was selected for the "Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Gold Award" for outstanding development of a tourist area, in recognition of the maintenance and continuity of the traditional townscape.

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 21 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This shrine to the guardian of Kawagoe is loved by the people of the city. Because the gods enshrined here are two couples that were both very good matches, people have come here to pray for happy marriages or to find a spouse since long ago. In particular, people line up for the lucky "Enmusubi Tama (marriage stones)" that are handed to the first 20 marriage seekers every morning at 8am.

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 16 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Honmaru Goten (Primary Hall) of Kawagoe Castle

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This is a portion of Kawagoe Castle, which was erected in 1457 and later expanded upon by Nobutsuna Matsudaira, a Kawagoe feudal lord. Unfortunately, the castle was dismantled after the Meiji Restoration. Only the entrance to the primary hall and the large assembly hall are the original structures, and the rest of the building was restored in 1968. Visitors can still see evidence of scale of the lord's 170,000 koku (unit used to express the rank of a feudal lord) and Kawagoe's prosperity, such as the copper plates on the roof that show the Tokugawa clan crest with the three-leaf hollyhock insignia.

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 15 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Kawagoe Kitain Temple

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This is the main temple of the Kanto Tendai Sect. It is said to have been built in 830 by Jikaku-Daishi Ennin, a priest of the sect. There are many important cultural properties on the temple grounds, including the main shrine and the pagoda. Visitors shouldn't miss the autumn leaves in the garden of the main hall, as well as the 500 Statues of Rakan. This Rakan group is selected as one of the best three Rakan groups in Japan.

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 8 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Kawagoe Festival Museum

  • All year
  • Kawagoe

This museum was opened to pass on the more than 350-year history of the Kawagoe Festival to future generations. Exhibits of floats and projections of festival images on large screens express the passion and excitement of the actual festival.  

http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/sightseeing/

Approximately 21 minutes by bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Higashifushimi Inari Shrine

  • All year
  • Other

This temple was established in 1929 as Kanto region's Fushimi Inari after receiving a part of the holy spirit from the main Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Thus, the name "Higashifushimi" for address and station come from this temple. Originally, this shrine was dedicated to a god of agriculture. However, it is also used to pray for art, family harmony, long life, and prosperous business. This shrine is popular with visitors at the New Year and Hatsu-uma (the first day of the horse) in February.

http://www.higashifushimi-inari.jp/ (Japanese Website)

Approximately 10 minutes on foot from Higashi-Fushimi Station

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

  • All year
  • Other

This open air museum is located in Koganei Park. It is an annex of the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Structures with a high cultural value have been relocated and restored. A wide variety of buildings were restored, such as thatched private houses and shops that reproduce the downtown atmosphere. A variety of events are also held throughout all four seasons.

http://tatemonoen.jp/english/index.html

Approximately 5 minutes by bus from Hana-Koganei Station

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