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Onouchi Hyakkei Icicles in Ogano | CHICHIBU
January 6, 2019 @ 08:00 – February 24, 2019 @ 17:00
Onouchi Hyakkei Icicles are one of three icicle winter spectacles of Chichibu. “Hyakkei” means hundred and the Saitama Prefectural Tourism website translates the icicles name as Onouchi Hundred Icicles. However, the icicles are most commonly referred to as the romanized version of their Japanese name.
(Featured photo from Saitama Prefecture Industry and Labor Department, Tourism Division)
The Onouchi Hyakkei icicles are in the Ogano town of Chichibu district. These icicles where made from an artificial flow of water. The icicles are naturally formed by the climate of the area, it is just their water supply that is artificial. And the locals work strategically to control the flow and thus the formation of the icicles. The locals are well praised for not only their ingenuity, but their hospitality. You can receive amezake for free and they have a bonfire lit where visitors can warm themselves.
While they may not be natural icicles, they are breathtaking. The suspension bridge that runs in front of the icicles adds not only to the scenery, but to the ambiance and thrill of visiting these icicles. You can get up close to the icicles thanks to the suspension bridge. You can’t use the suspension bridge after sunset.
The icicles opened to the public on January 6th, but they have not yet set a closing date. It will depend on the weather and environmental conditions. Generally you can see the formations until early March. During the period the icicles are on display they have light up on most Saturday nights.
Price: 200 yen for adults and high school aged children
Hours: 8 am to 4 pm Sunday to Friday. The park is opened until 8 pm on most Saturdays for the night light up.
Light up: The light up dates for 2019 are January 26th, February 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd.
Access Onouchi Hyakkei Icicles
The icicles are very hard to get to by public transport, but some say it’s worth the effort. You need to get a train to Seibu Chichibu station and then take three buses. First you take a bus for the Ogana City office. From there you transfer to a bus terminus “Ogana shako”. You transfer there to a bus for Sakamoto. All in all it takes over an hour and you have to be careful about the bus times as they are very infrequent. It is highly recommended that you use a tour bus or come by car.
If you are driving you could visit all three icicles in the one day. The icicles are off route 299, down a country road from Ryutou shrine.
Address: 996-1, Kawarasawa, Ogano town Chichibu county (Map in the grey details box at the bottom of the post).
The three great icicles of Chichibu
Of the three icicle displays in Chichibu, only one of them is completely natural. The Misotsuchi icicles in the Otaki area of Chichibu are Oku Chichibu’s only naturally formed winter beauty spot . The water freezes coming over rock to create the stunning natural ice sculptures.
The Ashigakubo Icicles are the easiest to get to by public transport: