Chichibu Yomatsuri It is one of Japan's three greatest hikiyama (float) festivals
Gorgeous floats dash up a steep slope. The fireworks displays lighting up the winter evening sky are spectacular.
Chichibu Yomatsuri is a festival of Chichibu Shrine which has a history of more than 2,000 years. It is one of Japan's three greatest hikiyama (float) festivals, together with the Gion Matsuri of Kyoto (July 1st-31st) and the Takayama Matsuri of Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture (April 14th and 15th, and October 9th and 10th).
The main attraction of this festival takes place on the 3rd (the 2nd features an event held on the eve called Yoiyama). Two kasaboko which are large parasol-like objects decorated on top with weapons such as spears, and artificial flowers together with four yatai floats shaped like small houses are paraded through the city streets. In the afternoon, the floats are transformed into stages by pulling out wings on either side, where Kabuki plays are performed.
The most exciting scene of the festival unfolds on the evening of the 3rd when kasaboko and yatai floats, weighing 10-20 tons each and lit up with countless lanterns, climb up a steep slope with a mikoshi (a portable shrine). The spectators' excitement reaches its peak at the powerful sound of the drums and flutes, and the unique festival shouts of 'Ho-ryai! Ho-ryai!' The fireworks illuminating the clear winter evening skies are another of the attractions of this festival.
From Tokyo:[Rail]About 3 minutes' walk from Chichibu Station.Chichibu Station is about 65 minutes from Kumagaya Station on the Chichibu Tetsudo Line.Kumagaya Station is about 40 minutes from Tokyo Station on the JR Shinkansen"Asama".
Place: Chichibu Shrine
City: 1-1, Banba-machi, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture
In spring the The Senjojiki Cirque (Kaaru) in spring is a dazzlingly white world of remaining snow. The whole cirque turns into a wide skiing ground. You can enjoy dynamic snowboarding, skiing and a variety of play in this snowy ravine. (April till late May)
Summer in the alpine mountains is short, but the air is refreshing. In the morning and in the evening, cool air envelops the mountain tops. The cirque is now a meadow of alpine plants. Kamchatka lilies, white hellebores, fringe bells, mountain heath and chinguruma (Geum pentapetalum) put on their delicately beautiful flowers. (July and August)
In autumn, beautiful autumnal tints descend from the mountain tops down to the piedmont. The mountain sides are exquisitely colored with crimson and gold. The spectacular contrast of the red and yellow leaves, the green of the Japanese stone pines and the white of the rocks is a natural work of art. (Late September and October)
Acces to Komagatake Ropeway:
The visitors arriving in their private vehicles are advised to use the Suganodai Bus Center Parking.
※ 350-vehicle capacity, flat parking, roofless, 24-hour operation, mechanical
※ There are extra parking spaces for about 1,000 vehicles around Suganodai.
※ Parking attendants will guide you at peak times.
The limpid beauty of a realm of pure-white snow. The fantasy of the frost-covered trees reflecting morning sun will surely hold you spellbound. You may also meet some brave climbers about to scale the winter mountains.
Tall mountains stretch north and south from central Mt. Komagatake, creating the Central Alps. Affording an unbroken view of peaks such as Mt. Ontake, the Northern Alps, the Tateyama mountain range, the Southern Alps and Mt Fuji, this place is also famous as a treasure house of alpine plants. The ‘Central Alps Komagatake Ropeway’ was erected to enable everyone easy access to the natural beauty of these mountains, ravines and forests.