The city of Chichibu is home to a summer festival known as Kawase Matsuri. The city was developed around the Japanese Shinto shrine and derived its name from the shrine. The Kawase Matsuri is Chichibu Shrine’s summer festival which takes place every July 19th through July 20th.
Unlike other parts of Saitama, Chichibu City is very mountainous. Its population is concentrated in river terraces along the Arakawa River. During the matsuri (festival) eight groups gather at the shrine around 7:00 PM. Carrying colorful dashi floats, they march along to festival music all around the city. At 8:00 PM, a fireworks display takes place over Michi-no-eki Chichibu (a roadside station) located at 6208 Omiya Chichibu. On July 20th, a mikoshi (a portable shrine) and the floats depart the shrine at about 1:00 PM. The festival reaches its climax when the mikoshi is carried into the river at around 2:30 PM where it is washed.
The Rapids Festival is an excellent opportunity to view a unique Japanese summer festival and to visit one of the nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Shosha.
Chichibu is a 1 hour and 10 minute ride from Ueno Station on the JR Takasaki Line. You would exit the train at Kumagaya Station and get on the Chichibu Railway’s Express train to Chichibu Station which is 50 minutes away. The shrine is an eight minute walk from the train station and Michi-no-eki Chichibu is a 20 minute walk from the shrine.