Chichibu’s Shibazakura(moss phlox) flower park is known for good access from Tokyo and an excellent viewing easy for sightseeing.
There are trains that can reach there from Tokyo within 2 hours without transfer allowing you to enjoy moss phlox spreading just outside Tokyo.
The best time to see moss phlox and peak times
Shibazakura Festival-The best time to see moss phlox and the peak times
Speaking of a spot of moss phlox in Chichibu, Hitsujiyama Park commonly known as “Shibazakura no Oka” is famous.
“Shibazakura no Oka” is a popular place with good access from Tokyo.
The best time to see moss phlox in Chichibu is from mid April to around Golden Week. There is also the Shiba Zakura Festival, and it is crowded as soon as the stores open up.
Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays since late April will be crowded. The road to parking lots around Shiba Zakura no Oka (Route 299) will be congested, so I recommend using public transportation on such days.
- The best time to see it in full bloom is late April to early May.
Introduction of 9 varieties of Shibazakura(moss phlox)
Moss phlox has a shape like cherry blossoms, although they are not cherry blossoms but a perennial plant of Polemoniaceae.
Like the turf, its vitality is high, passing through the winter and growing to the extent that it covers the ground in spring, so all of the sights become pink and white, highlighting the contrast with the spring mountains.
On “Shibazakura no Oka”, 9 types of varieties are planted, and the gradation will change depending on where you see them.The blooming period also delicately shifts, so you can see beautiful moss phlox even when you visit it many times during that period.
I will introduce them from light color in order. “Mont Blanc” is clear pure-white, and has rounded heart-shaped big petals.
“Little Dot” is also pure white but has small and crisp heart-shaped petals.
“Amazing Grace” means a wonderful blessing, but it is characterized by its vivid red purple center, which makes us feel compassion with the white background.
“Tama no Nagare”, which looks like a line drawn on a thin pink in white is a cherry color when you look at it from a distance, drawing a distinction intermediately between dark and light colors.
“Autumn Rose” is rose pink, “Scarlet Frame” is cherry pink, “Mac Daniel Cushion” is magenta pink, but each color is different and feasts your eyes.
“Emerald Cushion” which is a light blue purple variety with big petals and “Okinton Blue” with dark blue purple are the most popular among the varieties of moss phlox because they have soft shades calming the mind so match with any flower color.
Recommended viewing points
Moss phlox is lovely heart-shaped when you look close, and has a carpet-like atmosphere that fits perfectly with the shape of the hill when you look from a distance, so if you change the height and perspective, you can see a different look.
There are lots of trails on the “Shibazakura no Oka”, so please enjoy changing the place to see. The places moss phlox are planted in are perfect for the standby screen of your mobile phone.
Since the length moss trees are short, when you take portrait photos, you can take commemorative photos with attraction of moss phlox if you can take photos from a distance to put the mountains and the sky in photos as a background, rather than take in a flower garden.
The composition of putting Mt. Buko in the background is a standard.
About restaurants and meals
“Special production market on Chichibu Road” is held as Shibazakura Festival during the blooming period of moss phlox.
There are about 30 stores on the spreading premises, and chairs and tables are also available so you can eat leisurely while sitting down after you buy.
Chichibu’s local gourmet such as “Miso potato”, which is fried potatoes with sweet miso, “Okkirikomi Udon”, “Hand-made soba” and “Warajii Katsu-don,” etc. are popular as well as foods you can see regularly at festivals.
Chichibu’s whiskey, which is globally appreciated, and Ichiro’s malt can also make you drunk.
There are limited edition Kitty goods at Hitsujiyama Park.
Besides, traditional crafts and high-quality wood are cheaply available, so please drop by on your visit.
Does it cost an entrance fee?
At peak times, it costs 300 yen for an adult and 250 yen for a group of 20 or more people per person as an entrance fee. Children under junior high school student age are free.
The entrance time is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Is it allowed to enter with your pets?
You can enter “Shibazakura no Oka” with your pets.
There are a lot of people taking their pets for a walk. Please enjoy moss phlox together with your pet.
However, the owners take responsibility in the pets’ calls of nature and so on.
Access to Chichibu Shibazakura Festival
When you head to Chichibu from Haneda Airport, Narita Airport or Tokyo, please head first to Ikebukuro Station.
It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to Chichibu from Ikebukuro Station by the Seibu Line Limited Express Red Arrow.
Limited Express Red Arrow has all the reserved seats and the fare is 1,480 yen for one way. It departs once an hour from Ikebukuro.
It takes a 20-minute walk to “Shibazakura no Oka” from the terminal, Seibu Chichibu Station.
In addition, at Ikebukuro Station you can use the “Seibu Tourist Information Center Ikebukuro” tourist office for foreigners visiting Japan.
Supported is offered in English, Chinese, and Korean. You can buy tickets to Chichibu and you can also get sightseeing information. Business hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Reference: Seibu Tourist Information Center Ikebukuro
From Narita Airport
A) Narita Airport → Narita Express (1 hour 40 minutes) → Ikebukuro Station → Limited Express Red Arrow (1 hour 20 minutes) → Seibu Chichibu Station Total 4,470 yen for one way ※Recommended due to less transfer
B) Narita Airport → Keisei Skyliner (1 hour) → Nippori Station → JR Yamanote Line (12 minutes) → Ikebukuro Station → Red Arrow (1 hour 20 minutes) → Seibu Chichibu Station Total 4,120 yen for one way
Bus from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro
Narita Airport → Airport Limousine Bus (1 hour 40 minutes) Ikebukuro Station → Limited Express Red Arrow (1 hour 20 minutes) → Seibu Chichibu Station Total 4,580 yen for one way
From Haneda Airport
Haneda Airport → Keihin Kyuko (15 minutes) → Shinagawa Station → Yamanote Line (26 minutes) → Ikebukuro Station → Limited Express Red Arrow (1 hour 20 minutes) → Seibu Chichibu Station Total 2,150 yen for one way
Bus from Haneda Airport to Ikebukuro
Narita Airport → Airport Limousine Bus (40 minutes) → Ikebukuro Station → Limited Express Red Arrow (1 hour 20 minutes) → Seibu Chichibu Station Total 2,710 yen for one way ※Recommended due to less transfers
Other Recommended spots in Chichibu
Chichibu is a historic town with rich nature. If you come to Chichibu I will introduce some sights you would like to visit.
A hot spring on a one-day trip – Araki Kosen
Araki Kosen is one of the nearest hot springs from “Shibazakura no Oka” at Hitsujiyama Park.
It takes about 10 minutes from Shibazakura no Oka by car. You can take a bath on a one-day trip but the main attraction is a Japanese-style hotel so it is also recommended to stay after enjoying your viewing.
|Address||1538 Yamada, Chichibu-shi, Saitama prefecture|
・Adult 900 yen(Weekdays 800 yen)、Child 450 yen(Weekdays 400円)
・Reserved bath 3,240 yen per 60 minutes
|Spring quality||Alkaline sulfur cold mineral springs|
|Facility contents||Indoor bath 1, open-air bath 2, Reserved bath 1|
|Amenity||Towel 200 yen|
|Business hours||12:00 am to 9:00 pm(reception to 8:00 pm)|
Chichibu Festival Hall and Chichibu Shrine
Chichibu has a famous festival called “Chichibu Yomatsuri”, Near Chichibu Station of the Chichibu Railway is the “Chichibu Festival Hall” which displays preserved festival costumes and Hikiyama.
” Chichibu Yomatsuri ” is counted in the three major festivals in Japan, and 300,000 visitors come every year from all over the world to see the fine Hikiyama’s operation and the performance of Japanese instruments named Yataiyashi. Please feel the powerful festival that is in line with the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Takayama Festival in Hida!
|Address||2-8 bamba-cho, Chichibu-shi, Saitama prefecture|
|Charge||Adult 410 yen、Child 200 yen|
|Opening hours||Apr-Nov 9am-5pm; Dec-Mar 10am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm) / closed 4th & 5th Tue of every month|
Also next to the Chichibu Festival Hall, there is the Chichibu Shrine known as a power spot. Chichibu Yamatsuri is an regularly held festival at here.
It is also one of Chichibu three shrines along with “Mitsumine Shrine” and “Hodosan Shrine” ,which is said to be one of the “power spots” in the Kanto region.
It is so quiet here that I can’t believe is in the Chichibu city area, so your mind will definitely calm down.
“Pork Miso-don” at Nosaka and “Waraji Katsu-don” at Yasudaya
If you eat Chichibu gourmet near “Shibazakura no Oka”, “Pork Miso-don” at Nosaka and “Waraji Katsu-don” at Yasudaya are recommended.
“Pork Miso-don” at Nosaka
Pork Miso-don is a little different from ordinary Pork-don in that it is made by special pork of Chichibu pickled in miso. It is a recommended Chichibu gourmet which also won the golden award in the National Don Grand Prix. This is Pork Miso-don of pork ribs.
|“Pork Miso-don” Nosaka|
|Address||1-13-11 nosaka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama prefecture|
|Menu||Pork Miso-don 900 yen|
|Business hours||11:00 am to 15:00 pm|
“Waraji Katsu-don” at Yasudaya
As well as Nosaka, a popular famous restaurant of Waraji Karatsu-don is near Yasudaya Hinoda branch near Shibazakura no Oka. It is the best rice bowl that offer the taste of rich sauce on Waraji Katsu and cutlets spread all over the mouth.
|“Waraji Katsu-don” Yasudaya|
|Address||1-6-9 hinoda, Chichibu-shi, Saitama prefecture|
|Menu||Waraji Katsu-don 860 yen|
|Business hours||11:30 am to 17:30 pm|
Although Shibazakura no Oka is very crowded when it comes to peak times, it is worth seeing even if it is crowded. Especially the contrasted scenery of Mt. Buko and moss phlox in Chichibu.
Since you can walk from the city area where Seibu Chichibu Station is located, the access is also good. A hot spring on the one-day trip named Matsurinoyu also opened at the Seibu Chichibu Station in April 2017, so the range of sightseeing has spread further.
After enjoying Chichibu’s moss phlox, please enjoy the surrounding tours too by all means!