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Chichibu Night Festival

posted Nov 23, 2016, 9:44 PM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Nov 28, 2016, 6:04 PM ]
FREE! The Chichibu Yomatsuri (Night Festival in Chichibu, Saitama Pref)
 
2016 December 2nd (Friday) 11:00AM~3:00PM | Chichibu, Saitama
 


 
  
 
 
The Chichibu Yomatsuri (Night Festival in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture),
is known as one of Japan’s 3 greatest float festivals
- the others are Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and Takayama Festival in Gifu.
The event is a 2-day festival, on December 2 and 3.
The highlight of the festival is the carrying of omikoshi (portable shrines) up a hill at night.
The climb is difficult and speedy, considering each omikoshi is carried by around 1,000 people.
This year, the Yomatsuri was designated a World Heritage cultural asset.
 
To celebrate, the Chichibu Tourist Bureau is inviting up to 30 foreign nationals to participate
in the opening part of the festival, on Friday, December 2. 
We will help to carry a omikoshi in the opening parade in the streets of Chichibu.
The opportunity is a rare one, as the omikoshi carry is usually limited
to those who have the festival hanten (a special robe worn during festivals).

The tourist bureau will pay for transit to and from Ikebukuro Station
for the first 30 non-Japanese to participate.
The round trip fare includes the express fare going to Chichibu.
The return ticket does not include the express fee.

The meeting time is at 11:00 AM on Friday December 2
in Ikebukuro Station (in front of Seibu Ikebukuro ticketing).
The time we are expected to participate in the festival is from 1:00-3:00 PM.
After that, people are free to come and go as they please.
You will each be given the return train ticket to Ikebukuro,
so you are welcome to stay in Chichibu to view the night floats,
enjoy the yatai (food stalls), or return to Tokyo as you please.

 

Date
2016 December 2 (Friday)

Time
11:00 AM (Event from 1:00-3:00 PM in Chichibu)


Meeting Time & Place
11:00AM sharp@ Seibu Ikebukuro station (ticket window) /Seibu-Shinjuku line
(西武新宿線 池袋駅改札 切符売り場)

*The meeting time in Ikebukuro is 11:00 sharp (see the photos below).
You must be there at that time to receive one of the FREE tickets. 
Mr. Mike Kato will be there with someone from the Chichibu Tourist Bureau
and will be wearing a blueish hanten with a black (work) backpack
- a strange combination that should make me stand out.


 


Transportation Fee
Round trip Ikebukuro-Chichibu (by Seibu Line)
- fares for first 30 non-Japanese will be paid for by the Chichibu Tourist Bureau


Contact Information
- Please contact Mr. Mike Kato at mikekato@japanesegreats.net and 090-8301-5299.
I am not working for the Chichibu Tourist Bureau but will be participating in this event.

 
Dress Code
There is no dress code, but please wear comfortable shoes,
as you will be walking and helping to carry the omikoshi.
Don’t worry if you haven’t spent the last 6 months at Gold’s Gym,
you will be just one of 1,000 people carrying the float.
You also should expect to be photographed,
as the entire adventure is intended to publicize the World Heritage designation.


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2016 December 2nd (Friday) 11:00AM~3:00PM | Chichibu, Saitama