8 interesting and attractive sites at Chichibu in Saitama
Chichibu in Saitama prefecture is one of the popular areas near Tokyo for sightseeing.
For instance, the area has a variety of interesting spots like a very old shrine called Mitsumine Shrine and the fantastic river of Nagatoro although the Chichibu area is easy to access from Tokyo.
In addition, the mysterious sites and regional folklore that are not widely known are also one of the attractive points to enjoy Chichibu.
So, I introduce my recommended spots in the Chichibu area even though these are popular or not.
Table of Content
- Nagatoro – beautiful rock and river
- Chichibu Shrine – Legendary sculptors
- Hounji – The treasure of Doragon bone
- Hashidate Shonyudo – limestone cave and sacred temple
- Sokudo Shrine – The encrypted stone
- Mitsumine shrine – shrine for 1900 years ago
- Chichibu Muse Park – beautiful ginkgo trees
- Seibu Chichibu Station – The main station and facilities
- Conclusion of the sightseeing spots in Chichibu
Nagatoro – beautiful rock and river
Nagatoro is an amazing site that makes us imagine to be being another world.
The most absorbing feature is the sequence rock that is designated as a special natural monument in Japan, and this area plays an important rule in a geographical study due to rare topography.
In addition, the wonderful scenery that combination of the rock, clear river, and unique nature will appear in front of you in each season.
For example, you will be able to experience activities like renting a canoe and riding a boat as seeing a splendid nature surrendered by sequence rock in the summer season.
On the other hand, the spot in the autumn season has another aspect that shows the charming autumn leaves like a mixture of yellow and red leaves.
As a result of these attractive points, around 3 million people visit here every year, so you will be also able to enjoy Nagatoro definitely as feeling a distinctive atmosphere.
Chichibu Shrine – Legendary sculptors
Chichibu Shrine would be the main sightseeing spot in the Chichibu area.
The site is located near Seibu Chichibu Station and easy to access on foot from there without a vehicle.
The most exciting point in Chichibu Shrine is a unique sculpture that is put down around the there and made by a legendary sculptor called Hidari Jingro.
Interestingly, it is alleged that Hidari Jingro lived for 300 years and left a variety of sculptures around the Kanto region and western area in Japan.
Surprisingly, Chichibu Shrine owns his sculpture called “Tsunagino Ryu” and “Kosodateno-Tora”, so it would be worth to visit here in order to just see his sculpture in reality.
If you want to know about more Hidari Jingro’s legends and sculptures that are set in the Kanto region including Tokyo, check the below article.
Apart from the fantastic sculptures, the admirable space like a Japanese garden, traditional architectures, curious trees is also attractive points here.
In addition, this site was reconstructed in 1569 by Tokugawa Ieyasu who was samurai in the past, so a sculpture that indicates respect for him is also put down here.
Particularly, the sculpture called “Ogenki Sansaru” indicates the opposite character with “Three Wise Monkeys” that put down in Nikko Toshogu where is worshipped Tokugawa Ieyasu and owns the Hidari’s sculptures as well.
Such this, Chichibu Shrine shows the relationship with Nikko Toshogu, due to Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hidari Jingoro.
If you are curious about this topic, the article about Nikko Toshogu should be checked.
Anyway, please visit here and find these interesting points by yourself to get inspiration if you have a plan to go to the Chichibu area.
Hounji – The treasure of Doragon bone
Hounji is a very beautiful temple that has a long history from the 13th century.
The site shows traditional scenery like a pond with green nature in the summer, stunning autumn leaves in December, so you must be able to enjoy here whenever you go.
In addition, Hounji owns the treasures called “Doragon bone”, “Tengu’s claw”, “Mirror of Queen Yokihi”, etc that are designated cultural property in Chichibu.
These treasures are very impressive to feel a Chichibu’s legend and linked to folklore that has been handed down in this region.
If you are interested in Hounji and the details of these treasures, please check the below article.
Anyway, Hounji is slightly difficult to access, but it will be a good opportunity for you to visit here in order to feel Japanese tradition.
Hashidate Shonyudo – limestone cave and sacred temple
Hashidate Shonyudo which means “Hashidate limestone cave” is the place that mixed some facts like a unique temple, a huge rock wall, and a cold cave.
The temple called Hashidatedo(Hashidate temple) is standing under the rock wall and was built in the Edo period.
As you see, the temple makes us feel the Japanese tradition, and the rock wall is very magnificent so that we are speechless.
Moreover, the cave where is near the temple also gives you a deep impression due to the sacred and a little bit dark atmosphere. Unfortunately, taking a photo inside the cave is basically prohibited.
The inside cave is very cold so that you can see a water drop in spite of the summer season, and you have to go through the up and down way. But I promise you must admire the unique and dark atmosphere here and experience a small adventure.
After you come back from the cave, taking a rest time at a cafe is one of the good options.
Sokudo Shrine – The encrypted stone
If you are fond of a legend such as a strange person and mysterious stone, Sokudo Shrine must suit you.
Sokudo Shrine is quite small compared to other sites, but you can see a mysterious stone here and trace the curious legends that have been transmitted in this region.
According to the Board of Education in Chichibu, Sokudo who was called a “strange person” lived in this region and left a lot of legends in the past.
For example, he left the mysterious stone which was curved Japanese words by using his claw, but its meaning has been unsolved yet because of complicated words like encryption.
In other cases, he had shown unbelievable running speed that goes to the top of the mountain from his house before the water boiled.
Check the below article, if you want to know his legend more, but keep in mind that Sokudo Shrine is very small, and around there is nothing to do particularly.
Mitsumine shrine – shrine for 1900 years ago
Mitsumine Shrine has a good reputation for tourists although it’s very difficult to access.
The shrine is surrendered by rich nature, many huge trees, and reached about 1,100 meters high, so you can hike around the shrine to the spots such as a waterfall, beautiful arch, and mt. Kumotori.
The shrine itself is absolutely charming without saying, but the most surprising point is the old history that has carried on from1900 years ago approximately.
Mitsumine Shrine was built around the period by the ancient royal family Yamato Takeru in the middle of the expedition in the east area in Japan.
So, the big statue of him is standing near the shrine.
Actually, it is said that Yamato Takeru gave influenced other sites such as Mitake Shrine at mt. Mitake, so please check the below article if you want to trace his legend.
Going back to Mitsumine Shrine, the site has the great observatory that you can survey splendid scenery around Mitsumine.
Furthermore, Mitsumine Shrine plays a rule of the gateway to access the Mt. Kumotori that is the highest mountain in Tokyo, so you can hike the mountain as well (It takes around 5 hours from Mitsumine Shrine).
However, as I mentioned, Mitsumine Shrine is quite difficult to approach, so the easiest way is using the direct bus from Seibu Chichibu station that is the main station in Chichibu.
Anyway, Mitsumine Shrine is the place that I want you to visit once if you go to Chichibu.
Chichibu Muse Park – beautiful ginkgo trees
Chichibu Muse Park is also a popular spot, particularly for family tourists.
The most interesting point is a row of ginkgo trees.
The ginkgo trees are arranged in a line and show beautiful yellow scenery that can not be seen in the other season.
Furthermore, a huge adventure playground, tennis court, and so on are available.
So, it might be a good option to spend time with your family or friend seeing ginkgo trees like a tunnel.
Seibu Chichibu Station – The main station and facilities
Seibu Chichibu Station is actually not a sightseeing spot, but it is a very important place to access the sites that I introduced.
For example, when you go to Hounji, Hashidate cave, Nagatorme, and Mitsumine Shrine by local train, you have to change the train from Seibu Ikebukuro・Chichibu Line to Chichibu Tetsudo (Chichibu Line).
So, the station plays an important rule as the access point for each spot.
In addition, facilities like a cafeteria, souvenir shops, and spa are available at Seibu Chichibu station, and many accommodations around there are opened, so it would be based on your trip to Chichibu.
Conclusion of the sightseeing spots in Chichibu
The sites that I introduced in this article are very attractive because of the historical background, regional folklore, and beauty of the site itself.
However, the Kanto region containing the Chichibu area and Tokyo etc has more interesting spots.
So, if you have a plan to go somewhere in the Kanto region, please check other articles, it might be helpful for your trip.