Annual information for the Ashigakubo Icicles in Yokoze Town, one of the “three great icicles of Chichibu”, along with Onouchi and Misotsuchi Icicles. The opening date for the 2024 season of the Ashigakubo icicles was postponed a week, due to the warm weather, but they are open from January 13th 2024. However, they announced today, the 15th of February, that they will close the icicles early – the last day and night will now be Sunday 18th of February. After the 18th you will not be able to enter the grounds of the icicles.
The icicles are open to the public from early January to mid February annually. However, there are years when the weather interferes! For example, in 2020, due to warmer than normal weather, the event ended up starting late and ending early. In 2021 they started on time, but finished up early also due to warm weather melting the icicles. However, in 2022, the icicles enjoyed their best year ever, according to the Yokoze Tourist Association. Subsequently, they actually extended the period of viewing until the end of February due to the excellent condition of the icicles. Since 2022 you need to book in advance for the light up on Saturday and Sunday nights (no reservation required for a day time or Friday night visit). Booking form here.
The Ashigakubo icicles are the baby in the family of the “3 great icicles of Chichibu“. They were only discovered about 8 or 9 years ago. They soon attracted lots of visitors and lots of attention. However, they are not entirely natural – the locals help to create the scene in collaboration with Mother Nature! One of the icicles is 200 meters high and 30 meters wide.
There is a one way system to viewing the icicles which every visitor is expected to respect. There are areas where you can and can’t use tripods to take photos, which are marked at the site. The (free) provision of black tea and Yokoze amazake was suspended in 2021 in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, they brought the “service” back in 2022 and it will be available in 2024 too. However, it is just available during the day, until 4 pm.
Ashigakubo Icicles Light up
Until 2023 the light up was only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during the period of the icicles formation. However, since last year they have been lighting up the icicles on Friday nights too. You need to make a reservation to see the light up on a Saturday and Sunday night, but no advance registration is required for a Friday night. They say the best viewing of the light up is around 5.30 pm during January and after 6 pm in February.
Usually during the last weekend of January and the first weekend of February they have additional special events on at the icicles. For example, in 2024 they will have an Icicle Festival for the first time ever. That is scheduled for Friday February 9th 2024. The full title of the event is “I will light up your heart too. Icicle Festival in Ashigakubo”.
Free Shuttle Bus
In 2024, once again there is a free shuttle bus on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays only. The timetable is here. You can get the shuttle bus from either:
- Yokoze Station
- Komatsuzawa Leisure Farm
- Buko Hot spring
It is a loop bus, so it goes from Yokoze station to the icicles, from the icicles to Komatsuzawa Leisure Farm, from the farm to Buko Onsen and from Buko onsen back to the station.
Ashigakubo Icicles 2024 information
Event: Ashigakubo Icicles 2024 あしがくぼの氷柱 are now closed and the grounds are closed off too. You will not be able to enter the area again until January 2025!
Ashigakubo icicles / Light up dates
The icicles are generally open to the public from the first week in January to the last week in February. Yokoze town initially set the dates for 2024 as from Saturday January 6th to Sunday February
25th 18th 2024. However, they subsequently decided to postpone the opening until Saturday January 13th due to the warm weather. Moreover, the end date has also been brought forward a week to Sunday the 18th. The light up is on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights only, unless there is bad weather. Booking is required to visit the light up on Saturday and Sunday nights only. The reservation page.
Open to the public daily from 9 am to 4 pm. And until 8 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the light up. The light up starts around 5 pm.
Tickets cost 500 yen for anyone over 12 years old. The price for elementary school aged children is 300 yen. There is no charge for children under seven years old, either by day or night.
The three great icicles of Chichibu
Ashigakubo Icicles are just one of “three great icicles of Chichibu”. The other two are Misotsuchi and Onouchi Icicles. Misotsuchi are the only completely natural icicles of all three. Although all three are in the Chichibu area, they are very far apart. It takes about an hour to get from one to the other. But if you are travelling by car you can in theory visit all three icicles in the same day.
Ashigakubo Icicles Access
Address: Ashigakubo, Yokoze, Chichibu District, Saitama 368-0071. View on Google Maps.
The location is easier to get to than the better known Misotsuchi Icicles in neighbouring Chichibu, as unlike Misotsuchi these icicles are located relatively close to a train station. The Ashigakubo station, which is on the Seibu Chichibu Line, is about a ten to fifteen minute walk from the icicles. Since 2023, they distribute a numbered ticket for the light up at the station, exclusively to people who arrive by (Seibu Railway) train between 4 pm and 7.25 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, the railway usually put on extra limited express trains during the period of the icicles to accommodate visitors.
In 2024, there is a free shuttle bus from / to Yokoze Station on Saturdays and Sundays only. Please see the paragraph above the “Ashigakubo Icicles 2024 Information” heading. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the icicles from Yokoze station on the loop bus.
The main car park for the event is the “Dai ni” parking, which is about a ten minute walk from the icicles. It is located at Roadside Station Orchard park 道の駅果樹公園あしがくぼ, beside the station. There is parking for about 100 cars and it is free.
Editor’s note: First published in January 2017, republished December 2017, November 2018, October 2019, April 2020. December 2020. Last update December 15 2023. Unlike Misotsuchi icicles, the Ashigakubo icicles were not lit up in January and February 2021, due to a State of Emergency in the prefecture at the time. However, they lit up the icicles in 2022. Moreover, for the first time ever, they lit up the icicles in the morning so that passengers of the Laview Express train could enjoy the stunning scenery in passing.