Perfect for Social Media! Five Select Spots with Fantastic Views in the Nagatoro Area of Chichibu
Nagatoro in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, is easy to get to from central Tokyo. It is an area rich in nature with mountains, rivers and other fantastic photogenic spots you'll want to take pictures of. This article introduces five highly recommended places with great views.
1. Nagatoro Gorge
Nagatoro Gorge in Chichibu is surrounded by majestic mountains with the Arakawa River flowing gently through it. It is famous for the iwadatami, photogenic multi-layered rock formations on the shores that look like rock tatami mats. The best way to enjoy the iwadatami, which are designated as a natural monument of Japan, and the beautiful views between the mountains is to ride the Nagatoro Line Kudari, a traditional wooden boat piloted by a boatman using bamboo poles. There are some thrilling spots on the way, so you can also enjoy it as an adventure ride.
2. Hodosan Shrine
This is an ancient shrine with a history of more than 1,900 years located at the foot of Mt. Hodosan. It has received a one-star rating in the travel guide, Michelin Green Guide Japan, and is considered to be one of the top three shrines of Chichibu together with Chichibu Shrine and Mitsumine Shrine.
The numerous beautiful structures, such as the pure white Ichi-no-Torii and Ni-no-Torii gates and the shrine building with elaborate carvings, are the highlights of this shrine. There is a rear shrine at and altitude of 497m at the summit of the mountain that can be accessed by ropeway.
The shrine is just 15 minutes on foot from Nagatoro Station. The path to the shrine, which is a straight shot from the station, is lined with cherry trees, so it is a great spot to enjoy the gorgeous cherry blossoms in the spring.
3. Sai no Kuni Fureai Farm
The poppy festival held in Sai no Kuni Fureai Farm is referred to as Tenku no Poppy (poppies in the sky) with 10 million Shirley poppies blanketing the highlands at an altitude of 500m, offering a beautiful sight for people to enjoy and photograph. The poppies are planted on a slope so it is easy to take photographs without any people in them. The best time to see them is from late May to early June, and the entrance fee is 300 JPY.
There is much more to do at the farm, such as butter- and cheese-making experiences and interacting with various animals.
*Check the official homepage to confirm the timing of Tenku no Poppy.
4. Hitsujiyama Park
Hitsujiyama Park, with a vast area covered with pink moss in the spring, is called Shibazakura no Oka (creeping phlox hill) with approximately 400,000 creeping flox flowers of nine varieties blooming over an area of 17,600 sq.m. The amazing sight of the grounds blanketed in pink is perfect for posting on social media.
The best time to see the creeping flox is from mid-April to early May, and during that time, a fair of local produce is held with approximately 30 stalls set up. The park is usually free to enter, but there is an entrance fee of 300 JPY during the blooming season. It is just 20 minutes by foot from Seibu-Chichibu Station, so be sure to stop by if you are in Chichibu.
5. Mitsumine Shrine
This is another of the top three Shinto shrines of Chichibu and is located in a sacred area at an altitude of 1,100m. It was established approximately 1,900 years ago and is named after the three peaks of Mt. Kumotori, Mt. Shiraiwa and Myohogadake, which can be seen from the shrine grounds (Mitsumine means three peaks). There are many historic structures, such as the beautiful main shrine with colorful carvings, and the shrine is also known to have matchmaking benefits. Take a walk on the calm and quiet grounds that are surrounded by large Japanese cedar trees and you will feel as if your body and soul have been purified. The Yohaiden (shrine building from which to pray to the rear shrine at the summit of Myohogadake) is a great place to see the entire city of Chichibu. Be sure to enjoy the views and capture them as photographs.
There are tourist buses from Seibu Chichibu Station and it takes about 75 minutes to the shrine.
The Nagatomo area is filled with wonderful destinations ranging from beautiful nature to calming and mystical Shinto shrines. Be sure to visit to enjoy the fantastic sights that can only be seen there.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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