Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2012/5/10 19:15
If I would like to walk parts of the Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu; where can I find a description of the route to follow?
by Hoshisato  

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2012/5/11 09:34

This link would give you some idea. It recommends some proposed routes to go for 3 days.
by Jay Key (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2012/5/11 14:08
If you are in Japan, there are also book guides and Rurubu Magazine has a special book specifically about Chichibu.

by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2012/5/11 16:58
Thanks everybody; however, the link @Jay Key posted doesn't appear to be working.
Please keep replying to this thread if you have suggestions for this.
by Hoshisato rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/1/13 00:57
This blog describes all the temples and the route for the pilgrimage: http://monochrome.me.uk/news/?p=435
by Hoshisato rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/1/13 20:43
I did the 34 temple pilgrimage last year. There is a book printed in English available at several of the temples to help you. I would recommend taking the train from Ikebukuro to Chichibu, and asking directions to Temple 13 when you get off the train. It is withing three blocks of the train station. I stayed at the Route Inn which is about three blocks (in the other direction), which turned out to be a great base fo performing the pilgrimage. The train is a private train run by the SEIBU rail system. The train station is SEIBO-CHICHIBU in Hyperdia.

There is a second train station nearby, which I believe is JR. I used this along with the busses to get around.

At the staion, there is a information office to the right, which will help you get bus information, as well as hiking information. I found the map given out by the SEIBU train office the best for navigating the pilgrimage.
take your baggage to your hotel, and then get geared up for the pilgrimage.

As for money, pick some up at a postal ATM in Ikebukuro BEFORE arriving, There will be a Post office near the pilgrimage path a few days in to replenish your funds.

You can wait to get your stuff at Temple 1, but Temple 13 will have all the scrolls, walking sticks, clothing, books, and the guide in English. I would suggest that you go there.

Every day, you can do a leg of the pilgrimage, which will include 6 to 10 temples to begin with. After about 4 days, the temple become further apart, and your will only get a few in. There are six bus lines that leave from the Seibu station, which you can take to get back to the station at the end of the day, or, take in the morning to where you left off.

Two of the temples have places to eat. You will also walk past many places to eat on some of the route. I carried a camera bag, which I put three bottles of water, a rice cracker and peanut trail mix, and some hard candy, which was plenty.

The complete walk is about 63 miles, but one leg (about 10 miles) is between temples 30 and 31, which most people do not do. The book recommends taking the train back to the station from temple 30, and then taking the #6 bus to get to Temple 31. The bus stop will drop you off about 2.7 kilometers from the temple, which also has about 300 stone steps to go up.

I actually walked about 40 of the 63 miles, and followed the recommendations in the guide. The signs along the walking route are small, and can easily be missed. They are about 15cm wide and 30cm tall, and are placed knee height on walls and posts. The signs for the automobiles are a meter wide and two meters high, and are easier to see.

The actual pilgrimage was laid out before automobiles, and strays for the roads. I ended up not walking the actual pilgrimage path, which included foot paths in alleys and through forests in many places. At one point while walking a forest path, I came upon a fork in the path with a broken sign on the ground. I ended up taking the wrong fork, and ended up popping out of the forest about 2 kilometers from where I was supposted to. Many places I would stay on the streets where I felt more oriented, and could use the larger automobile signs to find the temples. This only added a few kilometers to the pilgrimage that I walked.

I hope this information helps.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/1/23 23:19
by Hoshisato rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/8/31 13:12
I just completed the first 29 temples by bike in 2 days.

There are route maps available from the information Centre at Seibu-Chichibu station.

The trouble with these maps though is that they are very "general" and at low resolution and do not show all the roads and paths. Therefore unless one stays on main roads, it's very easy to lose track.

I think it's because the maps are designed to be used by people in cars, not walking pilgrims.

On a bike of course I didn't want to use main roads, but the smaller paths.

In addition, some temples provide single-page maps of their local few temples. These show more detail, but are not to scale, more like landmark-based illustrated cartoons: "turn left at the nursery", "turn right at the school" etc.

I also carried a smartphone with Google Earth and Google Maps.

Somehow between all these I managed to find most small paths, but it was far from satisfactory method, requiring lots of stops and cross-checking.

Between temples 5 and 7 for example I got hopelessly lost.

The Japanese guidebook of maps is extraordinarily detailed, but unless one reads Japanese can be tricky.

Crying out for a comprehensive English map!!

by pavinder (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/5 21:04
by Hoshisato rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/6 00:10
I will like to do it in future.
Do you pick a season or check the weather forecast before doing it ? What if it rains ?
How is accommodation along the way ? How much will it costs ?
It's suppose to be walking but will cycling the trip be ok and convenient ?

by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/6 12:33
I stayed at the Route Inn near Seibu-Chichibu station. Every day, I would go to the station, and either board a Train, Taxi, or Bus, to get to where I finished the day before. Some days I would finish near the Seibu-Chichibu station, and I would just walk to the last temple that I went to.

It did rain, and you just take it in stride. In fact, every morning the mist rolled off the mountains into the chichibu valley, and I expected it to rain a lot more than it actually did.

I walked about 35-40 miles of the 61 mile pilgrimage. I walked the first 30 temples, but not in the exact original order. It seems that two of the temples (??? 7 and 8 ???) are now usually reversed, and I rode a bus to some of the final locations. Going from Temple 30 to 31 is a very long walk, as is some of other distances in the final four temples.

I also did visit some temples out of order due to weather.

On one very rainy afternoon, I actually did Temple 34 before returning to the 1-30 trek. When I finished the first 30 temples, I visited 32, 33, and finally temple 31.

There ia another temple that you pass on the way to Temple 31 which is interesting. It is just before you go through the tunnel, and is dedicated to unborn children. Even though it is not one of the 33 temples, it is worth visiting.

Temple 31 has a large bell that you can give a donation to ring. The more famous bell is at an earlier temple, and it was used to signal the start of a rebellion. After I paid for the final caligraphy on my scroll, I put a donation in the bell box, and pulled back on the striker log. It felt like a good way to end the pilgrimage.

I hope your pilgrimage goes well.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/6 13:26
Thank you ebaychunky311,

Your replies are really helpful. It's not easy to get info or any trip report for it.
I don't understand the first para of your last message. What do you mean by everyday you get back to the the last temple train, bus or walk. You mean every day when you check out from where you stay, you find your way back to the last temple visited and continue your journey from there ? What's the purpose ? Is that the rule of the pilgrimage ?
Why don't you just continue your journey from where you stay ?
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/6 22:09
I stayed at the Route Inn for six days. I the first day, I took a bus to Temple 1, and then walked to 2,3,4,5, and 6. Temple six in somewhat near Siebu-Chichibu Station, so I walked back to the Hotel.

The next morning, I walked back to Temple 6, and then re-started the pilgrimage by walking to 7, 9, 8 ,10 ,11, and 12. The route from Temple 12 to temple 13 passes by the Route Inn, so I stopped when I reached my hotel.

For the first 30 temples I always returned to the place I ended the pilgrimage the day before and continue from there.

On the following day, since I finished at my hotel, I just went directly to Temple 13, and continued on. I ended up that day around temple 19 or 20, and took a bus back to Seibu-Chichibu Station.

I continued doing this every day, One rainy morning, I decided to stay in an do laundry. In the afternoon, I ended up going to temple 34. I had realised by that time that I was not going to actually walk the entire pilgrimage, because my pace was a little slower than I expected, and I would not finish the pilgrimage in the seven days that I had alloted (6 nights, and seven days).

I hope this is a better explation of what I did.
by ebaychucky311 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/7 03:41
Thank you. Must it be done by walking ? Is cycling possible ?
by lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/7 04:01
There is no difinitive way to do the pilgrimage. There were bus loads of pilgrims who had a monk for a tourguide. These pilgrims walked only from the temple parking lot to the temple, but, the monk would lead them in chanting and prayer at each temple.

The walk is more traditional, and is more contenplative. As other have indicated, is is also sometimes confusing, and the signs on the actual path are sometimes difficult to see. You have to remember that this pilgrimage was set up 600 years ago, and can involve footpaths that very few people ever use anymore. I remember walking in the forrest at one point and came across a broken sign at a fork in the trail. Three miles later I popped out of the forest about two miles off of where I was supposed to come out. The great thing was I came out right at a road that had signs for the automobile traffic to follow, and I just walked along a nice concrete sidewalk the rest of the way in a light rain, as opposed to a muddy trail in a light rain. The street signs for the cars are larger and more reliable.

One of the best maps of the pilgrimage was suppied by the Seibu railway at Siebu Chichibu station. There will still be places where you will veer off course, and have to backtrack a bit.

As for using a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or bus: I don't think it matters to the monks at the temples, how you get there is up to you.

As for me, part of the pilgrimage is the walk, and the cvontenplation during the walk. I do plan to go back at some time and do the complete pilgrimage by walking, but I will have to get fitter before do it.
by ebaychucky311 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/7 13:39
I don't know if it will help, but I found a nice link with maps and photo's of the pilgrimage. After looking at the map, I ralised that I only made it to Temples 1-5 on the first day, and that temples 7 and 6 are the ones that are reversed.


There is a kindle book by Tony Gibb about doing the Chichibu Pilgrimage by bike. This might be helpful to you. Even though I am going to walk the pilgrimages, I am thinking of purchasinge the Kindle books, and taking a Kindle along on my next pilgrimage.

Additional notes:

I plan to take more days on my next pilgrimage. I will probably go near Golden Week because I also want to go to the Phlox festival.

I want to go to my hotel on the first day, and not start the pilgrimage until the next morning. There are things like temple 4 selling lunch (Udon?) that I missed.

Between temples 6 and 8 there is a set of greenhouses that allow for strawberry picking. I want to not put blinders on finishing the pilgrimage, and pick (and EAT) strawberries.

Temple 17 has a special area for Daikoku, one of the seven lucky gods. It is in the shape of a big Sake cask, with a thached roof. I want to get a Daikoku charm and put it on my staff.

Temple 19 had wonderful gardens, spend more time there.

Sit at temples 23 and 24, and enjoy the view longer. Don't take the wrong fork in the path between 23 and 24, and don't even attempt it if it's raining.

Eat at the resteraunt at temple 28 again.

There is a statue of Kannon on the hill (Gokoku Kannon) by temple 29 with a wonderful view. I want to climb up to it.

I want to climb up to the "boat rock" at temple 32, and buy a bell for each of my two sons at temple 33 (wonderful tone).

There were a lot of frogs at one of the temples (30 I think). I want to take my video camera and record them.

Spend more time at temple 34. I am hoping that the cave is reopened to the public.

I had several monks at temples want to give me the English pilgrimage guide. I bought mine at temple 13, which is only a few blocks away from Seibu Chichibu station. They also sell the scrolls, hats, smocks, prayer beads, and other stuff for the pilgrimage. It is also available in quanity at temple 1.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/9 18:27
Thank you for your info, really useful for anyone visiting but I have to clarify.
I may have misunderstood this pilgrimage route and got mixed up with Kumanao Kodo trail. Is it the same as the Kumano one ?
I just got the Kumano booklet and there is a route that shows no. 1 to no. 75 and I realised Seibuchichibu Station is a different place.
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2013/9/9 23:12
OK, this is a little bit difficult to explain. There is some linkage of the Chichibu tail to the Kumano Kodo Trail.

There is a three pilgrimage set which is called the 100 Kannon pilgrimage. The three pilgrimages are the 33 temple Saigoku, the 33 temple Bando, and the 34 Temple Chichibu.

The 33 Temple Saigoku starts a Seigantoji Temple near Nachi Falls. It includes part of the Kumano Trail, and then go to Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka. In this sense, This part of the 100 Kannon Pilgrimage crosses and follows the Kumano trail.

The 33 Temple Bando starts in Kanagawa, and goes around Tokyo, Ibaraki, and Chiba.

The 34 Temple Chichibu stays in the Chichibu valley, and is the shortest of the three pilgrimages that make up the 100 Kannon Pilgrimage.

Here are some links:



I hope this helps.
by ebaychucky311 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Pilgrimage to 34 Sacred Temples in Chichibu 2016/9/13 02:14
I wrote a free Android app for this pilgrimage with loads of helpful information about the pilgrimage, the temples (fudasho) and Chichibu in general; now completing the Chichibu 34 Kannon Temple pilgrimage is never been easier!

See the Android store for the app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.me.monochrome.henro
by Hoshisato rate this post as useful

reply to this thread