NAKED Night Walk and Night Illumination Train, Chichibu, Winter 2023.
Renowned for their digital art, Naked Inc needs little introduction for those in Japan. In the winter of 2023, they are creating, as they say, “a new winter festival” in Chichibu, the festival district of Saitama Prefecture. Chichibu is made up of Chichibu City (Otaki Ice Festival), Ogano (Onouchi Icicles), Minano (Water Park Nagatoro), Yokoze (Ashigakubo Icicles) and Nagatoro (Winter Flower Story). Higashichichibu (Washi no Sato), the last remaining village of Saitama Prefecture, is also considered part of Chichibu.
There is a saying in Saitama that Chichibu has a festival every day of the year. There are actually approximately 400 festivals annually in Chichibu. However, some of them overlap on the same day, so there are actually days when there is no festival. But if you include even smaller festivals, or count the likes of the flower festivals that are on for many days in a row, the saying is quite true!
Naked Night Walk
Naked Inc use projection mapping to create a festival atmosphere in parts of Chichibu with the Naked Night Walk event. It is held on weekends from the end of January to the middle of February – dates are in the information section. Although, they say it is a “Chichibu district event”, it really is just in Chichibu City. The event showcases some of Chichibu Station area‘s biggest attractions with illumination inspired by the Chichibu Night Festival. The Chichibu Festival Museum (Hall) is the main site of the event:
There are eight main elements to the event:
- NAKED Distance Lanterns – rent a colorful lantern for 500 yen
- NAKED Flower Fortunes – omikuji fortune telling paper in the shape of flowers. They cost 500 yen each.
- Projection mapping show – at Chichibu Festival Museum, which has a 500 yen entry charge.
- NAKED “Tsukubai” – hand sanitizer that projects designs onto the hands!
- Chichibu Shrine Light Up
- Night Bar – participating bars around the area of Chichibu Shrine
- Matsuri no Yu onsen discounts
- Chichibu Railway Night Illumination Train – below NAKED Night Walk information paragraph
Event: Naked Night Walk – Chichibu – NAKED夜さんぽ™ -秩父-
Dates: January 27th, 28th and 29th. February 3rd – 5th, 10th – 12th, 17th – 19th.
Hours: base hours from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm
Cost: parts of the event are free, those that are charged our outlined in the “eight main elements” section above. However, you can also get special tickets. For example, entry to the Chichibu Festival Museum with a rental lantern for 800 yen, with a fortune telling paper it costs 1200 yen.
Venues: The main station for the event is Chichibu Station. In addition, the principal sites are…
- Chichibu Festival Museum (Hall) – on Google Maps.
- Chichibu Jibasan Shoten – where you can buy an entry ticket into the museum, buy the flower fortune telling paper and rent a lantern. On Google Maps.
- Seibu Chichibu Ekimae Onsen Matsuri no Yu – on Google Maps.
- Chichibu Shrine – on Google Maps.
Winter Illumination Train
As a special collaboration during the period of the NAKED Night Walk event, Chichibu Railway will have a winter illumination train on weekends. Trains departing from Mitsumineguchi Station are decorated with lanterns. There is a special headmark on the train for the occasion.
Event: Winter Illumination Train ウインターイルミネーショントレイン
Dates: January 28th, 29th, February 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th.
Times: The times are different and stations involved are different on each date. Please see the timetable on the official website.
Cost: it costs 880 yen for an adult and 440 yen for a child, from Kumagaya Station to Chichibu station.
Venue: Chichibu Railway Line train!