Chichibu Matsuri Kaikan
The Chichibu Yomatsuri (Night Festival) is one of the three major float festivals in Japan, along with the Kyoto Gion Festival and the Hida Takayama Festival. Started around 300 years ago, it is held annually on December 2 and 3 at Chichibu city, Saitama Prefecture. During the festival, people pull gorgeous floats around Chichibu, while kabuki is performed inside the floats. Fireworks light up the night sky and attract many visitors.
Chichibu Festival floats and Kagura (a Shinto theatrical dance) are designated as a Important Intangible Folk Cultural Assets. In 2016 the Festival was registered as an Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage.
For those who are not able to visit Chichibu during the Yomatsuri, there is the Chichibu Matsuri Kaikan (Chichibu Festival Exhibition Hall) with displays and demonstrations where you can feel the atmosphere of the event as well as of other festivals of the region.
Chichibu Matsuri Kaikan is across the street from Chichibu Jinja, 3 minutes on foot from Chichibu Station on the Chichibu Railway.
Photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com