Chichibu - Saitama

This week I went for an overnight stay at an onsen in Chichibu, in Saitama, a few hours train ride away from Tokyo. It always amazes me that it’s possible to get away to the real countryside so quickly…


We stayed in a lovely little ryokan that was over 180 years old, with thick wooden beams and a wonderful rotemburo.


There was a beautiful temple nearby, part of a pilgrimage route, with hundreds of stone buddhas, all covered in moss.


The leaves were just starting to turn orange and yellow, and the air was full of a fresh Autumnal feeling…

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Near Chichibu train station we also visited Chichibu Jinja, a much larger shrine, over 2800 years old, and recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. There were incredible wooden carvings in the roof, and I loved the famous owl carved at the back of the roof.


It was so easy to get to from Tokyo, I really want to visit more countryside places now!