Saitama Summer Series: Chichibu Area (1/7)

Kanto Tour Chichibu 2019.09.11
We have been going around Saitama for quite a while now, so we've decided to make a series out of the contents that we've accumulated over the past few visits. Starting with Chichibu area, we will show you around seven different areas of Saitama.
Before we begin...

Do we all know where Saitama is?

Saitama prefecture, located right above Tokyo on the map is a prefecture holding the 5th largest population in Japan at 7,337,045 (as at August 1, 2019). It has a total area of 3,797.75km2 and it belongs to the Kanto region, serving as the largest commuter town near Tokyo.

Famous places around Saitama are,
Kawagoe, Nagatoro, Omiya, Hanyu, Kumagaya, Tokorozawa, Iwatsuki and the area we are covering in this article, Chichibu.
The Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Bonsai Art MuseumMoomin Valley Park and Tobu Zoo are also within the prefecture.


About Chichibu

Chichibu is a city right at the west end of Saitama prefecture.
The city carries about 62,223 people (0.8% of the whole population of the prefecture) in 577.83km2 (15% of the land out of the whole prefecture).
Chichibu Shrine
  • The Chichibu Shrine is one of the main three shrines of Chichibu.
    The other two are Mitsumine Shrine and Hodosan Shrine.

    The shrine is located in the centre of Chichibu just a two-minute walk away from the Chichibu station.
  • A wood-carved tiger rasing its child in the front of the main hall building.
    A wood-carved tiger rasing its child in the front of the main hall building.
    This is the work of a famous artist named Hidari-Jingoro.
    He is also famous for the Sleeping Cat at the Nikko Tosho-gu in Tochigi Prefecture.

    This artist is one of Japan's mystery as this person turns out to be possibly fictious even though there are many of his works presently remaining throughout Japan.
The festival exhibition hall at Matsuri Kaikan
  • These two are the main Floats used in the Chichibu night festival. 
    At this museum, you will be able to see both of these exhibited throughout the year and other festival-related items.

    As this place is also closely located to the Chichibustation and the shrine, you would easily be able to walk to and from the two places. 

The Chichibu Night Festival

This is a festival that goes on for the first six days of December and one of the biggest festivals in Chichibu. The festival is also registered as an Intangible World Heritage by UNESCO.

These floats stroll through the town on the 3rd of December as part of the main event of the festival. 

Along with Kyoto's Gion Festival and Takayama Festival at Hida in Gifu Prefecture, this is considered as the top three Float Strolling Festivals in Japan.

It's definitely worth a visit!
The Matsurinoyu hot springs and local cuisine.
  • The main entrance

Matsurinoyu Hot Springs

This wonderful venue is located right next to the Chichibu station of the Seibu line.
  • The famous Ichiro's malt and Chichibu-Nishiki sake, Buko Masamune and many more!

    You can find local specialty shops that sell sweets, sake, and even Japanese maple syrup and Gelato using local ingredients.
    There are also restaurants within the venue that serve Waraji Katsu Don(Japanese pork schnitzel dipped in a lightly sweetened soy sauce served on top of a bowl of rice), Kurumi Soba (buckwheat noodles served with walnut sauce).
  • Once you are nice and full, it's time for a nice warming bath.
    After the walk that you did during the stay in Chichibu, relaxen your muscles and wash away the exhaustion.
  • They have both indoor and outdoor baths.
    Choose to your likings!
  • They even have what's called a relaxation room.
    Once you had a nice bath and you are all relaxed, make your way to one of these areas.

    If you feel up to it they also have a massage available (at an additional cost).

    There's also a restaurant within the hot spa area, you can go here instead for a refreshing beverage and a little more to eat.
The Matsurinoyu venue is free to entre for most of the shopping and restaurant area.

The hot springs can be accessed with the entrance fee as below.
Adults: 980 yen on weekdays and 1,080 yen for weekends and public holidays or other event days.
Children: 600 yen on weekdays and 710 yen for weekends and public holidays or other event days.

General Open Hours:
Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 to 23:00 (last entry at 22:30)
Friday, Saturday and public holidays from 10:00 to 24:00 (last entry at 23:30)
Our Saitama trip only begun!
Well, that was a glance of our recent Chichibu trip.
The routes we've shown you here are only one example of all that Chichibu has to offer.

Keep up with our Saitama trip that we've had during this summer. There are many more places to visit around the prefecture!

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See you again soon!
See where Chichibu is in the map below.
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