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List of " Culture/History Site"
Chichibu Shrine Hahasonomori
One of the Chichibu Sanja (three shrines of Chichibu). This is one of the preeminent old shrines in Saitama Prefecture, and it is a soja (shrine enshrining several gods) of the Chichibu region located in the center of the town. It is famous for the Chichibu Yomatsuri (Night Festival), which is a reitaisai (regularly held festival).
The shrine had occupied a vast space in the forest in the past, and it continues to protect a quiet space in the town today.
Remains of Chichibu Nouko Koto Gakko (Seibu-Chichibu Station)
Seibu-Chichibu Station is the entrance to Chichibu. Before the station opened in 1969, this was where a high school, Chichibu Nouko Koto Gakko (currently: Chichibu Nouko Kagaku Koto Gakko), was located.
There is a large bald cypress (deciduous needle leaved tree) that is a landmark in front of the station, and below it there is a monument of the history of the school. The mysterious stone pedestal of the monument contains a fossil of crinoids from around 300 million years ago.
Terasaka Rice Terrace and Terasaka Ruins
Terasaka Rice Terrace is the largest rice terrace in Saitama Prefecture, and it is located on an alluvial fan created by rivers flowing in from Mount Takashino. Visitors can gaze at the vast rural landscape against the backdrop of Mount Buko. In early July, there is an event where many bonfires beautifully illuminate the rice terrace, and this fantastic spectacle has made it famous.
This area has been civilized since the ancient past, and ruins from the Jomon period have been discovered.
This is one of the Chichibu Sanja (three shrines of Chichibu) located at an elevation higher than 1,000 meters in Okuchichibu. The shrine has become very popular in recent years, and it is considered one of the leading “power spots” (places believed to endow visitors with healing energy) in Kanto, where visitors can also learn about the legends of Takeru Yamato (a legendary hero in ancient Japanese history) and worship of Oinusama (a wolf). Visitors are amazed by the 800-year old sacred tree and majestic shrine.
Originally, Mitsumine collectively referred to Mount Kumotori, Mount Shiraiwa, and Mount Myohogatake that can be seen from the shrine. These mountains are made from chert, limestone, and other hard rocks of the Chichibu belt, and it served as the place of practice of Shugendo (an ancient religion incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts in which practitioners carry out ascetic practices in the mountains) due to the harsh terrain.
This is a Sekisho (checkpoint) established by Shingen Takeda, a famous military commander of 16th century Japan during the Sengoku (Civil Wars) period, for the purpose of monitoring traffic on the highway Chichibu Okan that connected modern-day Saitama, Yamanashi, and Nagano. This checkpoint has been designated as a national historic site.
An old highway runs through Shimanto belt, and around the Tochimoto Sekisho is the Tochimoto village where old buildings remain. The fields made on the steep slopes of the village elucidate the life of the people who have lived here since the past.
Nogami Shimogoseki Toba (including stone mining ruins)
This is Japan’s largest sekitoba (stone stupa) made from a large crystalline schist from Samba River. The stone stupa is said to have been erected as an offering to the lord of the castle located in this place during the Namboku-cho period (in the 14th century). (Nationally designated historic site)
At a nearby mountain there are ruins of a mining site where this stone had been mined. The local stones, which are chlorite-schist, were referred to long ago as Chichibu ao-ishi (blue-green stone) and they were used as stone material in the entire Kanto region since the Jomon period.
Kampo Kozuii Magaihyo
During the Edo period, a torrential rain that lasted for four days caused the Arakawa River to flood, and the water level rose up to 18m, leaving even some parts of this area submerged in water. There is a rock with the Japanese character for water carved into it to indicate the water level at that time.
This area is the only place in the Chichibu Basin where water flows out, and as a result the river in this area is far more narrow than the rest of the river spread across the basin.
Ido Hagure and Old Road of Meiji Period
This had been a dangerous place of passage since the Edo period, where many people and horses slid down the cliff, and as a result the old road was widened through excavation during the Meiji period. The road runs through the top of Chichibu Sekiheki, which is a cliff on the opposite shore of Iwadatami. Ido is the name of this location, and Hagure means a place that easily collapses and is dangerous.
Chichibu Railroad Arakawa Bridge
Completed in 1914, this is the longest bridge along the tracks of the Chichibu railroad. It is made from granite and brick. Although some parts of its are now reinforced with concrete, the bridge is still in service.
When the Chichibu railroad was extended to Chichibu, the shore to the left of Arakawa River ahead of Kami-Nagatoro Station had been a nanjaku jiban (soft ground) made of jamongan (serpentine), making it necessary to change routes. Thus, this bridge was built to cross over to the right shore of Arakawa River and connect to the Chichibu area.
Former Kotobuki Ryokan (Ogano Town Tourism & Interaction Hall)
The hall uses the building that had originally been built as the government office of a magistrate in 1716, and it had been turned into a long-established ryokan (inn) where many travelers from long ago had stopped by known as the Honjin Kotobuki Ryokan. Currently, it is renovated into a tourist base facility of Ogano Town.
Kenji Miyazawa, who had been at Morioka High School of Agriculture and Forestry, stayed at this ryokan when touring the Chichibu region to inspect its geological features back in 1916. Materials related to Kenji Miyazawa are put on display, and visitors can learn about his tracks back from that time.
This is one of the 100 Exquisite and Well-Conserved Waters of the Heisei Period gushing out from the mountainside of Mount Hakuseki in the inner depths of Chichibu. The water has a rich calcium content.
Bishomon Kori, a signature shaved ice of the region using Bishamonsui, is a Geogourmet delicacy that you would definitely want to try out when visiting Ogano.
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