Chichibu is a quiet town in the mountains to the west of Tokyo, best known for it’s festivals. During other times of the year there is not much going on, but it’s a great place to go hiking.
Budget travel tips
- Best to come here only during a festival or for a day or two of hiking.
Things of interest
A great park during the cherry blossom season. It’s most famous for Shibazakura no Oka, a garden that from early April to early May is covered in pink and white flowers. Travel report here.
Open: All day
Chichibu Night Festival
One of the three most famous float parade festivals in Japan, which has been held for over 300 years. Held on December 2nd and 3rd.
Chichibu Kawase Festival
A rather strange festival where people wash and move a portable shrine in the river. Held on July 19th and 20th.
Hiking in the mountains
Chichibu has some interesting mountains to climb, such as Mount Buko, which has amazing views over Chichibu and an ancient shrine at the top. It’s a bit tricky to get to, so go to the Tourist Information Center just outside Seibu Chichibu station and get a free map.
Buko Hot Spring
A nice hot spring not far from the main station. There is a free shuttle service from Yokose station (penultimate station, before Chichibu station). Ask at the tourist information office if you want to walk.
Price: 700 yen
Open: 10AM to 10PM
How to get there
From Shinjuku, take the Yamanote line (green JR line) to Ikebukuro. From here take an express train on the Seibu Ikebukuro line to Hanno station, then transfer to a train to Seibu Chichibu station (940 yen, 2 hours).
Hostels and hotels
There aren’t any cheap places around here, so its best to stay in Tokyo.