After visiting the flowers in Hitsujiyama, I took a stroll around Chichibu. I quickly realised that there were many shrines in the area. It is a major pilgrimage site known for 34 sacred sites.
This shrine is one of the major shrines in the area. It has been worshiped at since ancient times. Chichibu Shrine enshrines several gods from the Chichibu region and is located in Hahaso no Mori forest in central Chichibu city.
On entering the grounds I was instantly struck by the resemblance to Nikko Toshogu Shrine built by the powerful Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. On further investigation, I found that Tokugawa Ieyasu had indeed had the shrine reconstructed in the Edo Period. Both Toshogu Shrine and Chichibu Shrine have very striking ornate colourful carvings. Jingoro Hidari, a famous artist, worked on both shrines.
Events and Festivals
The shrine hosts a number of important annual events. The rice-planting festival takes place on April 4. The mid-summer Kawase Festival is celebrated on July 19 and 20. Chichibu’s yearly night festival draws the most people. It covers the first six days of December. The massive floats that are paraded through the streets are considered an important part of the national cultural heritage.
The Shrine’s dance ( Kagura) is considered a national cultural asset. The shrine’s structures, possessions and the festival music have also been recognised with similar honours.
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu