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**During the 2021 State of Emergency and Coronavirus Outbreak, events are subject to change and cancellation at a moment’s notice. Please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes or cancellations.**

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Nagatoro Wintersweet Season & Light Up 2021

January 15, 2021 @ 09:00 February 28, 2021 @ 17:00

Nagatoro wintersweet

The 2021 Nagatoro Wintersweet season is in full swing. Normally the annual Nagatoro wintersweet festival is held from the second week in January to the last week in February. However, this year on account of the State of Emergency they are not having a “festival” per se. But the wintersweet season has begun and the grove is open to the public. Moreover, this year from January 30th they will be lighting up the wintersweet until 7 pm on Saturdays and public holidays.

Wintersweet, which are also referred to as Allspice in English, are “robai / roubai” in Japanese. The wintersweet in Nagatoro come into bloom in early January and the festival starts a couple of days after. We visited in 2019 and it was one of my favorite memories of that year. 

Mt Hodo Wintersweet grove

The main area of the festival is the Nagatoro Hodosan Wintersweet Garden at the summit of Mt Hodo. There are approximately 3000 wintersweet in the park. In full bloom they not only look pretty, but smell gorgeous too.


During the period of the wintersweet festival there is normally several events and hiking outings held in the Nagatoro area. However, in 2021 most have been cancelled. But this year they have a light up event.

The plum blossom festival overlaps for the last week of February as well. You should be able to see wintersweet and plum blossoms simultaneously as early as mid February though.

wintersweet nagatoro

Mt Hodo Wintersweet light up

In 2021, they will light up the wintersweet grove until 7 pm on Saturdays and public holidays. The light up will begin on Saturday January 30th and run until February 28th. On the days that the light up is on, the ropeway will run until 7pm. Source: Chichibu Tetsudo.

You can read a first hand account of visiting the wintersweet in Nagatoro in English on a local’s blog here. 

Nagatoro Hodosan wintersweet garden access

The free shuttle bus service information, usually runs for the duration of the festival (with the exception of March 3rd) between 10 am and 4 pm. The bus goes every 15 to 30 minutes. The bus goes from Nagatoro station to the ropeway station at the foot of the Mt Hodo. However, again because of the coronavirus it may not be running this year. Please note that the ropeway also does not run everyday:

You can take the ropeway up Mt Hodo to get to the Wintersweet garden on weekends. And until 7pm when the light up is on. The ropeway costs 820 yen round trip (410 yen one way) for anyone over six years old. But in January the ropeway only operates on weekdays when there are a lot of visitors.

Hours from the official Chichibu Railway website. Featured image on post preview from the official Nagatoro Tourist Association Website.

For more flower and other events in Saitama please see the main event pages.


Nagatoro Wintersweet Garden

1738 Kanasaki, Minano,
Chichibu District,, Saitama Prefecture 369-1621 Japan
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


January 15 @ 09:00
February 28 @ 17:00
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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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