Saitama tourism and Buddhism: Delightful Chichibu
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Chichibu is a great place to visit. This concerns refreshing the soul, connecting with nature, walking in the mountains, enjoying outdoor sports, shopping for cultural items, and browsing around this lovely part of Saitama. Also, the landscape, irrespective of whether in Chichibu city or enjoying mountain areas – is blessed by a plethora of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Therefore, being approximately 85 minutes away from Ikebukuro in Tokyo, it is only a short distance from the capital of Japan.
All year round, individuals flock to the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park to enjoy nature and outdoor pursuits. Equally, for people who desire to connect with Buddhism or Shintoism – or both – pilgrimages abound. Irrespective of individualistic or in groups. Hence, tranquility abounds in all directions.
In a past article, it was stated, “In Chichibu city – and the three towns of Ogano, Minano, and Yokoze in the county of Chichibu – you have a Buddhist pilgrimage that dates back to the early thirteenth century. This Buddhist pilgrimage concerns the Chichibu 34 Kannon Sanctuary (Chichibu Sanjūyon-kasho) that unites all 34 temples into a complex pilgrimage route.”
Some Buddhist temples are small and minor compared to others. However, each provides something unique and distinctive. Shintoism can also be felt strongly in Chichibu. Therefore, the fusion of ideas – and spirituality – is felt by people who soak up the religious dimension and contemplate bigger issues in life.
Nagatoro, where people can enjoy the Nagatoro River, boating, whitewater rafting, and a cable car into the high mountains, is within easy reach of Chichibu. Hence, Chichibu is a lovely tourist place to visit irrespective of whether people are secular or religious because nature and the cultural angle are most rewarding. This is topped off by many exquisite restaurants, a plethora of shops to buy traditional Japanese sweets, lovely cultural items to buy, and much more.
Modern Tokyo Times photo images
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