Mar 10, 2017
The Chichibu Night Festival has a history of more than 300 years, and is an annual festival held for 3 days every December. Featuring Japanese floats, mikoshi and a rare winter fireworks display, the festivities start from evening time and extends all the way into late night. As there are almost no accommodations nearby, a stay at nearby Tokyo is recommended (it's about an hour's ride, but plan and book your tickets early, as it WILL be extremely packed). It's also recommended that you come earlier to secure a great place to watch the final fireworks or a good camera spot.
If it's your first time at the festival you may be overwhelmed, but a good tip is to pack food and water (or buy from the food stalls along the way), and to pay attention to where the tripods of camera enthusiasts are clustered (they always come early because they know where the best spots are). Also, toilet break before the crowds come in (I cannot stress enough just how impossibly crowded it is going to get and if you vacate your good spot you'll not likely be able to make your way back through the crowd once the festival is underway. Would also recommend to leave slightly before the festival ends to avoid the unavoidable crush back to Tokyo. Worth it? Definitely, but to have a good time preparation is key.
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