The Enchanting Chichibu Night Festival - Dec 2023

For over three centuries, the Chichibu Yomatsuri (Night Festival) has illuminated the winter skies of Japan, earning its place among the nation's top-tier float festivals. Joining the ranks of esteemed celebrations like the Kyoto Gion Festival and the Hida Takayama Festival, this event showcases six awe-inspiring floats, two of which are aptly named "Kasaboko," meaning flower parasols.

Rooted in history, the Chichibu Yomatsuri stands as the grand festival of the Chichibu Shrine, drawing crowds to witness the spectacle of ornate floats parading through Chichibu. Within these floats, kabuki performances transport attendees to a bygone era, weaving captivating tales of tradition and artistry. As night falls, the skies ignite with a brilliant display of fireworks, casting a magical glow over the festivities.

In the heart of the Edo period, the festival found its genesis amidst the bustling silk markets that thrived within the shrine's grounds. Today, its enduring charm lies in the vibrant hues of paper-covered lanterns, or "Bonbori," swaying gracefully against the backdrop of a winter fireworks extravaganza.

Designated as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Assets, the Chichibu Festival floats and Kagura (a Shinto theatrical dance) stand as living testaments to Japan's rich cultural heritage.

A Journey to Chichibu: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

Nestled just 90 minutes from central Tokyo, the Chichibu Night Festival graces the town of Chichibu every year on December 2 and 3. While both days hold significance, the main festivities crescendo on December 3. Considered one of Japan's eminent float festivals, it stands shoulder to shoulder with the illustrious Gion Matsuri of Kyoto and the resplendent Takayama Matsuri.

Each float is a testament to artistry, adorned with lanterns, tapestries, and intricately carved woodwork, accompanied by the rhythmic beat of drums and the mellifluous notes of flutes.

However, the festival's pièce de résistance is undoubtedly its two-and-a-half-hour fireworks display, offering a rare opportunity to bask in the ethereal glow of Japanese pyrotechnics against the winter night. As the evening chill sets in, the streets come alive with stalls offering delectable festival fare and amazake, a sweet rice wine designed to warm the soul.

A Glimpse into the Festival's Heartbeat

On December 3, the Chichibu Festival comes to life. Afternoon and early evening witness the floats on display in their respective neighborhoods and at the hallowed grounds of the Chichibu Shrine. As dusk descends, the floats embark on their procession through Chichibu's enchanting streets, commencing around 19:00.

The climax unfolds on the plaza before the city hall, where each float ascends the slope, forming a breathtaking tableau. From 19:30 to 22:00, a sprawling fireworks display paints the sky, visible from myriad vantage points throughout the town. As the clock nears 22:00, the festival reaches its zenith, allowing revelers to catch the final trains back to Tokyo.

Planning Your Journey

Given the festival's popularity, expect crowds to converge along the parade route and the plaza in front of the city hall. For prime viewing spots, arrive early, secure reserved seating, or opt for the big screen spectacle near Seibu Chichibu Station.

For those unable to attend in person, the Chichibu Festival Hall, adjacent to Chichibu Shrine, offers a tantalizing glimpse into the Night Festival and other cherished traditions of the Chichibu region.

Navigating Your Way

Central Chichibu, just outside Chichibu and Seibu-Chichibu Stations, sets the stage for this enchanting festival. Additional trains run on December 3 courtesy of Seibu Railway and Chichibu Railway. As the festivities conclude, all trains back to Tokyo are reserved limited express trains by Seibu Railway.

Japan Mobility Show 2023 Oct - Nov

TOYOTA will be exhibiting at the JAPAN MOBILITY SHOW 2023, to be held from Thursday, October 26 to Sunday, November 5, with a booth themed "Let's Change the Future of Cars―Find Your Future."

In this second announcement of models to be exhibited at the booth, Toyota unveils the KAYOIBAKO, a concept model that embodies a mobility future with the freedom to lead the life you want, anywhere, anytime. Toyota's booth will showcase how the KAYOIBAKO can cater to customer needs, from business to pleasure.

Exhibit model, KAYOIBAKO, Main features

The word kayoibako refers to configurable shipping containers for safely and efficiently transporting parts and products between facilities, sized to eliminate waste and able to meet diverse needs with changeable inserts. Adopting this approach, the KAYOIBAKO is a new compact space concept that represents the future of mobility.

Toyota sought to create a "quality base unit" of mobility through a commitment to interior/exterior packaging and affordability. With an "ultra-expandable" design that allows tailoring to suit different roles, this battery electric vehicle (BEV) can support a diverse range of applications.

As a BEV with both hardware and software customizable to specific roles, the KAYOIBAKO will function as part of smart grids and other intelligent social systems.

For business applications, the KAYOIBAKO will offer solutions to various issues as part of the social infrastructure. In last-mile logistics, for example, the vehicle can contribute to smart distribution systems by allowing customization for efficient low-volume transportation. The KAYOIBAKO can also be customized to meet the needs of local communities, such as by installing product display shelves to create a mobile shop or additional seating to serve as a shuttle bus.

For private use, the vehicle can be customized according to individual tastes and preferences, evolving into a one-of-a-kind mobility. As well as catering to diverse personal uses and lifestyles, the KAYOIBAKO will also contribute to providing "Mobility for All" by, for example, enabling designs that offer easier access for wheelchair users.


Ever since its founding, Toyota has sought to contribute to a more prosperous society through the manufacture of automobiles, operating its business with a focus on vehicle production and sales.

Toyota Global Vision

Toyota will lead the future mobility society, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people. Through our commitment to quality, ceaseless innovation, and respect for the planet, we strive to exceed expectations and be rewarded with a smile. We will meet challenging goals by engaging the talent and passion of people who believe there is always a better way.

Game utilizing SEGA's Iconic IP to Be Launched in Late 2023

double has released a teaser site for Battle of Three Kingdoms - Sangokushi Taisen, which is being developed under license from SEGA CORPORATION. Enjoy captivating artwork from the iconic Sangokushi Taisen IP within this groundbreaking web3 gaming adventure set for release by the end of 2023.

Game Overview

This is a next-generation deck building card game fused with auto-battler elements. While utilizing the essence of "Sangokushi Taisen", the game design is newly constructed in which players build their decks in 3 minutes and complete the auto battle.

Name: Battle of Three Kingdoms - Sangokushi Taisen

Genre: Trading Card Game

Developer: double

Platform: PC

Chain: Oasys

Languages: Japanese and English (Chinese and Korean planned to be added in 2024)

Release date: Late 2023

About Sangokushi Taisen

The arcade card game "Sangokushi Taisen" released in March 2005 had a big impact on the trading card and online game markets. It received an award for game design excellence from the CEDEC AWARDS.


SEGA CORPORATION is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes, and distributes a variety of games for consoles, PCs, and wireless devices, as well as developing and distributing arcade machines, merchandise, and various other products. SEGA distributes gaming content worldwide from its domestic and overseas studios through global publishing bases.

About double

Founded in 2018, double Inc. is a leading Japanese startup that specializes in NFT solutions and blockchain games for large-scale enterprises. Its partners include Square Enix, Bandai Namco, Sega, LINE, and bitFlyer Holdings. The company's goal is to facilitate the mainstream adoption of NFTs and blockchain technologies across the global gaming and entertainment industries.

Choshi City and Mitsubishi Corporation Sign Agreement

The city of Choshi in Japan's Chiba Prefecture (Choshi City) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement to both strengthen collaborations and help to revitalize Choshi City through energy (EX)* and digital (DX) transformations.

Choshi City has taken a number of steps to rebuild itself into a sustainable city that makes the most of the region's abundant natural resources. These include its comprehensive roadmap for redevelopment, its zero-carbon vision, and its DX promotion plan.

In May 2022, MC announced its latest management plan, entitled "Midterm Corporate Strategy 2024 - Creating MC Shared Value". Through connected advances in both EX and DX, MC is now working to revitalize regions and build independent, distributed communities that provide vibrant and convenient living environments and new, carbon-neutral industries that are powered by renewable energies.

Beginning with the launch of MC's offshore wind power project, Choshi City and MC have been working together to identify the region's challenges and to provide solutions for further development of Choshi City. Under the terms of our latest agreement, we are currently examining several regional-revitalization projects that fall within our scope of collaboration, the details of which are broken down below.

*Joint work in energy shall focus on balancing sustainable enhancements of industrial competitiveness and addressing environmental concerns.

1. Scope of Collaboration

(1) Use of digital technologies to revitalize and rebuild safe-and-secure local communities.

(2) Use of digital technologies and other means for energy, mobility, infrastructure and other fields to enhance services for local citizens.

(3) Construction of data-connectivity platform aimed at enhancing services for local citizens.

(4) Building of net-zero-carbon city through use of renewable energies and other advances.

(5) Use of digital technologies and other means to enhance education and culture.

(6) Reinvigorating tourism and other regional industries.

2. Project Examples

(1) Regional portal, digital tourism passport and other digital tools for the provision of public-information services.

(2) Subscription-based, home repair service offered by MC Group company HomeServe Japan Corporation.

(3) Power business-related services for net-zero-carbon city.

(4) Mobility services in anticipation of EV growth and on-demand transportation options.

(5) Establishment of "area vision" to promote tourism and tourism-related services.

(6) Sales of locally produced goods and diversification of primary industry.

(7) Work to increase hometown-tax contributions.

(8) Retail services developed by MC Group company Lawson, Inc. and its group companies.

(9) Development of emergency power system that makes use of flexible sources of electricity, including electric vehicles owned by MC's Choshi Branch.

(10) Support in providing property information and event notifications in conjunction with broader efforts by MC's Choshi Branch to establish facilities for local interaction and new business creation.