Chichibu | Autumn Day trip from Tokyo

Located about 70mins by train from Ikebukuro, Chichibu is the most western part of Saitama prefecture. It's abundant in beautiful nature, especially its mountain ranges. It is especially beautiful in these 2 times of the year:

  • Early May: Pink Moss at Hitsujiyama Park 
  • Early November: Ginkgo Avenue at Chichibu Muse Park
The Luxurious Limited Express Train to Chichibu - La View
This is my first time in Chichibu, and we are right at peak Autumn season. I booked 2 seats on the Seibu Railway's luxurious limited express train "La View". It was only an extra ¥2,140 for 1 adult, 1 child round trip to get large reclining seats, wifi, charging sockets. The interior is carpeted, seats are this beautiful yellow color and the windows are large panels for a panoramic view. You can buy the ticket from a machine on the day of, or you can reserve at the ticketing office as far as 1 month in advance. For weekdays there are plenty of seats, but weekends are packed and often sold out during peak foliage or floral season, so do book in advance. 


Chichibu Muse Park
We arrived in Chichibu just before 10am and decided to take a taxi straight to the Ginkgo Avenue. You can take a bus but it does wind around for quite some time. The taxi took about 10-15mins and cost ¥2,720 and it really saves a ton of time. 

The ginkgo trees was such a beautiful long road of gold, shining in the warm autumn sun. Mondays aren't so crowded, so it was very pleasant to walk around, mostly with other moms and kids or elderly folk, plenty who were photography enthusiasts like me. 



From the park maps, you can see tons of activities available. We spent 3hrs slowly walking from west to east, visiting the 3 different playgrounds, an observatory, and just enjoying the fresh air. There are playgrounds for kids of all ages, plenty of benches to sit down and rest, and little stalls for food and drinks. If walking gets too tiring, there's a little train that takes you both directions, take the park bus, or you can rent a bike. There are bikes for couples and families with wagons for kids to ride on the front. 


Though we didn't try, there's a go-kart track called F1 Resort Chichibu. You don't need a license and kids can ride with an adult. There's also a site called "Forest Adventure" which is a tree top course for kids starting from 110cm taller or kids over first grade.

The toughest part of our walk was the very east end where we had to walk down a steep winding road, across a very long bridge to get back to the city. It took a good continuous 30mins to finish that portion, but still faster than if you catch the bus which stops along the whole park. 


Chichibu Shrine
This is a must visit spot if you find yourself in Chichibu. They are recently repainting the shrine's main building and it's scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022. You can see from the sides, the incredible carvings and bright colors of the walls. There's also both ginkgo and maple within the grounds of the shrine. 

Directly across the torii gate of the shrine is a bus stop and a pillar with "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day" art on it. A lot of scenes from the anime were taken from various spots throughout Chichibu, so you will see this anime come up a lot. 


You will also see a sweets and drink shop called Kamakura near the bus stop. It's a perfect spot to stop for a snack. 


As you head back towards the Seibu Chichibu station from Chichibu Shrine, there are more autumn foliage along the way to admire. Finally right beside the station is an onsen. There's an excellent shop inside selling all kinds of snacks and souvenirs. 

Chichibu is one of those places that will recharge your soul and help you escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It's not only convenient to reach, it's also a fairly inexpensive train ride! Definitely add Chichibu to your list, it's such an underrated spot full of beauty and nature. 

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