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Chichibu Festival & Sight Seeing 2023/8/14 05:59
My wife & I are planning to be in Chichibu early on Dec. 2, and departing late in the afternoon on Dec. 3. We know the Chichubu festival is called a "Night Festival," and we're wondering how literally to take this. Our priority is to see as much of the Festival as possible.

For example, should we allow time during the day on Dec. 2 & 3 to visit Nakatsu Gorge or Tsukinoishi Momiji Park? Or, should we plan on doing things more directly related to the festival, even though it won't be evening yet?
by Swampy (guest)  

Re: Chichibu Festival & Sight Seeing 2023/8/15 22:29
I went to this festival a couple of years ago. You'll be able to see the festival floats at Chichibu Shrine during the day. Some are also out on the street in various locations. I had a map - possibly from the train station? - that showed where all the floats were parked. I think it's worth seeing the floats up close in the daytime as you might not be able to get a good view for the actual parade at night. It gets pretty crowded and the best (paid) areas are sold out well in advance. I saw the parade and fireworks from a rooftop bar organized by the Chichibu Tourist Division - it was just something they were telling tourists about at the station. It was a reasonable view, but I'd probably try finding a closer spot on the street if I ever went again.

I went to Chichibu on the morning of the festival and took the bus to Mitsumine Shrine before coming back to town in the afternoon. That's when I saw the floats. I don't think there was any major festival activity happening before early evening, so you should be able to visit other places of interest. If you have time, Nagatoro is quite close to Chichibu by train and has some great walks, river cruises in traditional boats and a lovely shrine (Hodosan shrine).
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