Chichibu Night Festival
The Chichibu Night Festival, which has a history of more than 300 years, is Chichibu Shrine's annual festival, held in December. The Gion Festival in Kyoto, the Takayama Festival in Hida, and the Chichibu Night Festival are regarded as the three greatest parade float festivals in Japan. The festival is held on December 2 and 3, when the area is crowded with a large number of tourists. Two gorgeous kasaboko (large parasol-like objects decorated on top with spears and artificial flowers) and two yatai floats shaped like small houses are paraded through the city streets. The most exciting scene of the festival unfolds on the evening of December 3 when kasaboko and yatai floats, weighing as heavy as 20 tons each, climb up a steep slope to Otabisho (the destination). Fireworks are launched during the period, which is rather unusual at this time of year in Japan. Everyone will be fascinated by the magnificence of the fireworks continuously illuminating the clear winter evening sky.