Is a rural mountainous region of Saitama.
I moved there when I got fed up with the unending concrete mass that makes up the rest of Saitama. Chichibu used to be renowned all over Asia for its silks. Now it's better known for having a festival outside at night in the middle of the winter. The number of people attending the festival far exceeds the region's population . There's a line of people several blocks long waiting for a space on the train away, and it gets quiet and deadly still for another year's time.
There are 34 temples (with statues of Kannon - a Buddah of mercy) scattered across the area, and many many small shrines and statues along the route. It takes the typical pilgrim 2 or 3 days to walk between them all. Rumor has it that those who do will be well rewarded in the afterlife. I spent almost 2 weeks drawing a picture of each and every temple, that summer.
It was something to do
...in an area where walking around the mountains all day was your best chance at fun. It was so so so very sad
The Full Story?
34 Temples - pencil on paper Summer 2005
Paintings from Chichibu