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Located just north of Mt. Buko, Chichibu Jinja is a shrine where gods have been enshrined for 2,100 years and is the head shrine in the Chichibu area. The current main shrine was reconstructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu and is well known for its traditional gongen shrine architecture. The most important event held at Chichibu Shrine is the Chichibu Yomatsuri, which is a festival designated as an official important tangible folk-cultural property. You will forget that they are in the center of Chichibu City amid the still calm of the shrine, and feel your soul being purified by being merely present in the holy grounds.
- 1-3 Banba-machi, Chichibu-shi, Saitama
- Contact No.
- 3-min walk from Chichibu Station on the Chichibu railway.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Shrine charms sold from 8:30-17:00.
Open all year round.
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 min
- Admission fee
- Admission Free
- Best time to see
- Chichibu Yomatsuri lasts from 12/1 to 12/6. The “Candle Night” is held in December. *Specific dates change from year to year.
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Beautiful Art Carvings
Numerous carvings can be found in Chichibu Shrine. Especially worth seeing are the works by the legendary carver of the early Edo period, Hidari Jingoro, like “Chained Dragon” and “Child-Rearing Tiger.” In the back is also the “Owl of the North Star” which is said to bless those in academic endeavors.
There are a couple of strange fortunes you can get at Chichibu Shrine called the “Mizu Uranai Mikuji” and the “Mayu Mikuji.” When you take the white paper fortune of the “Mizu Uranai Mikuji” and place it in the stream near the main gate, words revealing one’s fortune appear on the paper. As for the “Mayu Mikuji,” one can find their fortune after unraveling the string of the cocoon.
Powerful “Chichibu Yomatsuri”
The “Chichibu Yomatsuri” is famous all over Japan and considered one of the top three float pulling festivals in Japan along with the Kyoto Gion Matsuri and the Hida Takayama Matsuri. The taiko drum playing of the festival is also designated as a prefectural intangible cultural property. The festival is said to have started sometime between 1661 and 1672 giving it a history of over 300 years.
Fantastical Night Candles
At Chichibu Shrine every year in December a special “Candle Night” event is held sponsored by the Chichibu Junior Chamber. During this event, over 10,000 candles are lit around Chichibu Shrine where the local people of Chichibu give thoughts and prayers to their homes and future. The event makes for an entrancing and fantastical scene.
Chichibu Gourmet: Kurumi Soba
There are many soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurants to be found around Chichibu Shrine. The most famous soba in the area is called “Kurumi Soba” (Walnut Soba) which uses a sauce with ground walnuts and also has walnuts kneaded into the noodles which make for a great fragrance and strong flavor. Be sure to drop by on your visit to the shrine.