Updated: April 23, 2017
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5 Amazing Charms of UNESCO-registered Chichibu

A fuss-free 80-min train ride from Central Tokyo, Chichibu offers unique charms that you can't find in Tokyo. Think charismatic festivals, sacred temples and untouched nature. Here are 5 such charms!

#1 Chichibu Yomatsuri (Chichibu Night Festival)

Chichibuyomatsuri1 https://goo.gl/pxtpyA
Renowned as one of the top three yatai (float) festivals, the Chichibu Night Festival features six extravagantly decorated, vividly colored floats that juxtapose beautifully against the night sky. Coupled with lively, boisterous music from Chichibu Yatai Hayashi, this festival promises to be a memorable event to remember! No wonder it is being recognised as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage!

This festival is held every year on December 2 and 3.

#2 Chichibu Kagura (ritual dance)

Tokuyamakagura https://goo.gl/OGt8MR
Dating back to approximately the seventeenth century, kagura (Shinto ritual dances) in Chichibu showcases fascinating ancient myths and relates the heroic deeds of mythical deities. Performed to the tune of drums and flutes, this is a great way to get up close with Japanese culture! Partake in these performances as part of the 'Kawase' rituals at Chichibu Shrine in July and December.

#3 Chichibu 34 Kannon Sanctuary

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When it comes to pilgrimage routes, the 88 Temples in Shikoku have to be considered as the most famous. However, the Chichibu 34 Kannon Sanctuary more than holds its own against its Shikoku counterpart. Covering a grand total of 100 kilometres, many of these temples are actually located in urban areas, so you can observe for yourself how these temples are integrated into the lives of the local residents!

#4 Nagatoro Town

Nagatoro gorge  july 2010 a https://goo.gl/MCNi9k
Outdoor lovers, rejoice! In Chichibu lies Nagatoro Town, which is a picturesque paradise flaunting its precipitous cliffs and lush greenery. Be sure to join a riverboat ride that will take you down Arakawa River. Soak in the beauty of Mother Nature leisurely and even have your heart racing at times as the boatmen take you through rapid currents!

#5 Chichibu Meisenkan (Chichibu Silk Textile Museum)

Chichibu meisenkan https://goo.gl/PSX4N8
Chichibu was a prominent site of silk production during the Edo period, and its silk, Chichibu-meisen, was highly sought after by the upper classes then. Believe it or not, the sophisticated silk-weaving techniques have been handed down to current generations successfully and are still being harnessed today! Visit the Chichibu Meisenkan where you can broaden your knowledge of silk production and watch silk weaving live.
Fancy a breather from high-density Tokyo? You sure won't go wrong with Chichibu, with its fascinating historical landmarks, time-honored festivals and magnificent nature!

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