Chichibu is located in Saitama prefecture, less than 80 minutes away from the capital by train. Anyone in need of a green escape from the concrete buildings of Tokyo will enjoy a day trip to Chichibu. Surrounded by the lush forests and green hills of Chichibu you are sure to come back to nature. Every spring one of the highlights of Saitama prefecture are the Moss Pink (Shibazakura) hills of Chichibu’s Hitsujiyama Park.
More than 400,000 Shibazakura plants of nine varieties blossom during April and May, creating beautiful hues of pink. The locals tend to the flowers and make patterns with the color variations. For example, here you can see a heart, smiley and color pattern.
After visiting the flowers you can go to the nearby market where Chichibu’s mascot Potekuma-kun is greeting you with a stick of Chichibu’s famous Miso Potato. You can try these tempura-battered deep fried potatoes with a coating of miso sauce yourself at one of the stands. Wattention staff rated these potatoes to be very delicious and this is to no surprise as they won first prize in the 5th Saitama B Class Gourmet Grand Prix.
Golden Week Campaign
From the 23rd of April until the 8th of May there is a special prize campaign in to win some Shibazakura Hill goodies. All you have to do is take the Red Arrow Limited Express Train to see the Shibazakura Hill in Chichibu and show a photo of your train and flower viewing ticket at the local Tourism Office. Be sure to take a photo of your train ticket before you arrive at Chichibu! Because the ticket gate at the train station will take your ticket upon arrival.
There are some really nice prizes to be won so I highly recommend everyone to participate. And knowing that there are up to a 100 prizes every day the odds are quite good you will go home with a hotel voucher or beautiful Shibazakura Hill hand towel.
Fastest by Limited Express Train: Red Arrow Limited Express train to Chichibu from Ikebukuro Station, 80 minutes