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The Otaki Ice festival in 2020・ Illuminated Misotsuchi Icicles
January 11 @ 08:00 - February 16 @ 21:00￥200
The Otaki Ice festival, illuminated Misotsuchi Icicles in 2020 – One of the most famous, and beautiful, winter scenes of Saitama is at the Otaki Ice Festival in Chichibu. The Misotsuchi Icicles are the only naturally formed icicles of the three Great icicles of Chichibu. The icicles of Misotsuchi are lit up at night. Each year for about a month you can enjoy this spectacular view in Chichibu, the mountainous area of Western Saitama.
Update January 12th 2020: the icicles are late forming this year due to the milder weather and as such they have temporarily waived the entrance fee to see the icicles. They will start charging entry when the icicles have formed properly. Update January 30th 2020: due to the poor conditions of the icicles they are not charging an entry fee this year. But they are also not supporting the icicles during the week. They will open the icicles to visitors on weekends only.
Misotsuchi Icicles – The icicles are scheduled to open to the public from January 11th to February 16th 2020. The area is accessible from 8 am to 5 pm daily, but during the light up from January 11th to February 16th the closing hours are extended (information in the next paragraph). Generally, on the last two Saturdays of January they also have a market during the day. The market days for 2020 have been confirmed as January 19th and again on the 26th.
Misotsuchi Icicles Light up – From the official “open” period (January 11th to February 16th) the icicles are lit up from 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. However, in 2020 the first week there maybe no light up as the icicles are late forming. On weekends the icicles are lit up until 9 pm.
Cost – The entrance fee for 2020 is the same as previous years – 200 yen for adults or high school aged children. From January 10th until the icicles form properly there is no fee into the area. There is no charge for younger children.
Misotsuchi Icicles Access
47 kilometers from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu expressway. The parking costs have been confirmed as 500 yen for a car, 200 yen for a bike and 1000 yen for a bus. The Tsuchiuchi Camping Ground open their car park to the public during the period of the icicles. The camp ground itself is closed for the season and will open around the end of March or early April.
From Chichibu Tetsudo Chichibu Main Line Mitsumineguchi station take a Seibu Kanko bus headed to Lake Chichibu 「秩父湖」 . As you get on the bus tell the driver you want to get off around Tsurara Kengaku Basho 「氷柱見学場所」. Its about a 25 minute ride from the station.
Misotsuchi Icicles access from Tokyo:
Take a limited express train from Ikebukuro to Seibu Chichibu station, from there its about a 3 minute walk to Chichibu railway Mitsumineguchi station from where you get the bus.
In the area:
The famous Mitsumine Shrine, Oboragawatsuri Foot Bridge, Chichibu Lake and Futase Dam.
Other icicles that are illuminated in the area:
For even more events in Saitama please see the Saitama Events Calendar.
For more ideas of what you can do in Saitama in Winter:
First published in November 2016. Updated annually. Last update and republication: October 21st 2019.
Events by their very nature are tentative. Please do check with the official sources for any last minute changes due to weather or other mitigating factors.