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Chichibu Night Festival in 2020 | CHICHIBU

December 2 @ 08:00 December 3 @ 17:00

Featured photo Chichibu Night Festival from John Becker

Chichibu Night Festival 2020 – held annually on December 2nd and 3rd.

The Chichibu Night Festival 2020 is scheduled for December 2nd and 3rd 2020. However, due to the current Coronavirus situation they have downsized it significantly and it may even be cancelled yet. Already, the fireworks and float parade have been cancelled. More information coming soon. 

Featured image used with permission from John Becker photography.

Chichibu Night Festival also makes it on to a top three list or more accurately a “greatest” list. It is one of Japan’s three greatest Hikiyama (pull-float) festivals in Japan, together with Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and Takayama Matsuri in Gifu prefecture. It is also now a registered World Cultural Heritage event since 2016. It is the pride and joy of Chichibu.

The floats of Chichibu Night Festival

Chichibu Night Festival KASABOKO from Chichibu Navi page
KASABOKO from Chichibu Navi page
Chichibu Night Festival YATAI from Chichibu's Navi Page
YATAI from Chichibu’s Navi Page

The floats of this 300 year old festival, which are very different to the better known Mikoshi (portable shrine), 「奉奏」 are on wheels and are drawn by a rope, by bearers clad in traditional festival clothes.  There are a number of different floats classified as Kasaboko or Yatai. Both are floats with beautifully carved ornate roofs. There are two main differences between them.  The first is that the Kasaboko have an appendage on the roof, which remind me of Yorishiro, the white paper decorations you see around trees at shinto shrines. The Yatai does not have this decoration. The second is that the Yatai have room for performers to sit and play music and / or dance, which Kasaboko do hot have. They pull the floats around the town on both days of the festival:

Chichibu Night Festival Schedule

The schedule will be very different this year as there the floats will not be paraded around town and there are no fireworks. In a “regular” year: On the 2nd the floats will be pulled from Chichibu shrine from about 12 noon first to Miyakawa then Moto Machi, Naka Machi and finally Kami Machi at approximately 4 pm. During this time you can watch the floats being turned and danced around the street. The yatai will have live traditional music and you can witness traditional dance…. Please go to ↓

Even further more detailed information including all the key areas mapped is on the blog portion of this website:

More detailed information on the Night Festival

Steam Locomotive to Chichibu

Chichibu station

1 Miyakawachō
Chichibu, Saitama 368-0046 Japan
+ Google Map

Details

Start:
December 2, 2020 @ 08:00
End:
December 3, 2020 @ 17:00
Cost:
Free
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Website:
https://www.chichibu-omotenashi.com/en/festivals.html

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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, particularly with the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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