Chichibu Yomatsuri is a festival of the 2000-plus-year-old Chichibu Shrine. It is one of Japan's three greatest hikiyama (float) festivals -- the others being the Gion Matsuri of Kyoto (July 1st-31st) and the Takayama Matsuri of Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture (April 14th - 15th, and October 9th - 10th). Chichibu Yomatsuri will be celebrated from 2-3rd December.
On the first day is Yoiyama and on the second and last day is when the main attractions of the festival unfold. Two kasaboko, which are large parasol-like objects decorated on the top with weapons such as spears and artificial flowers, together with four yatai floats shaped like small houses are paraded through the city streets. In the afternoon, the floats are transformed into stages by pulling out the wings on either side, where Kabuki plays are performed.The most exciting scene of the festival is reserved for the evening of the last day of the festival when kasaboko and yatai floats weighing 10-20 tons each and lit up with countless lanterns, make their way up a steep slope with a mikoshi (a portable shrine). The excitement reaches the pinnacle and culminates with fireworks.
If you are planning a trip to Japan you might want to catch the Chichibu Yomatsuri festival.
Venue: Chichibu Shrine, 1-1, Banba-machi, Chichibu City, Saitama PrefectureFrom Tokyo:About 3 minutes' walk from Chichibu Station. Chichibu Station is about 65 minutes from Kumagaya Station on the Chichibu Tetsudo Line. Kumagaya Station is about 40 minutes from Tokyo Station on the JR Shinkansen Asama.Date: December 2-3
Know more about the Chichibu Shrine