make the moment / Rugby World Cup 2019TM Host City Photo Spot Project

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Takayuki Kanbe@takayuki_kanbe

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Currently living in Saitama Prefecture, Kanbe photographs moments in time that stir the soul, primarily in the Chichibu area where he was born and raised. He photographs the four seasons in Chichibu Unkai (literally, "sea of clouds"), which has become popular in recent years.
camera:EOS 5D Mark IV、EOS 6D Mark II

Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Minoyama Park

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:2369-18 Kuroya, Chichibu, Saitama 368-0001, Japan

EOS 5D Mark IV EF70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM 15sec F5.6 ISO400

Mitsumine Shrine, Chichibu Muse Park, and Minoyama Park are the three spots that boast great views over the famous sea of clouds in Chichibu. Among the three, Minoyama Park offers the most various shooting opportunities. On a night with an ideal sea of clouds, there appears such a breathtaking scenery like this. Enveloped by a white veil, the view look just like a scene from a sci-fi movie. The landscape attracts many sea of cloud lovers as well as night factory fans. The view is so fascinating that photographers often lose track of time. March and November nights, especially after rain, are the best time for shooting. The Rugby World Cup games in Kumagaya are scheduled for late September to October. Although this may be a little early for the best sea of clouds season, if you are visiting the area, you'll definitely want to enjoy the scenery from these viewing spots.

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Route to RWC2019 Kumagaya/Saitama Venue

Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Icicles of Misotsuchi

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:4066 Ōtaki, Chichibu-shi, Saitama-ken 369-1901, Japan

EOS 5D Mark IV EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 5sec F13.0 ISO100

January in the Oku-Chichibu area means extreme winter in the deep mountains. Misotsuchi is located in one corner of the Arakawa headwaters and delights throngs of visitors every year with icicles famous throughout the Kanto Region. While the daytime spectacle of the Misotsuchi Icicles is indeed impressive, they offer yet another amazing sight when illuminated in the evening. An otherworldly atmosphere descends, as if recreating a scene from a fairytale. The recommended viewing season is typically from early January to late February.

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Route to RWC2019 Kumagaya/Saitama Venue

Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Chichibu Muse Park

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:4190 Terao, Chichibu-shi, Saitama-ken 368-0056, Japan

EOS 5D Mark IV EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 0.4sec F13.0 ISO100

The sea of clouds visible from Chichibu Muse Park is a splendid sight that has in recent years, surged in popularity thanks to the buzz on social media and other platforms. From late evening to early morning in spring and fall, atmospheric conditions in the Chichibu basin are most conducive to attracting thick blankets of clouds. Furthermore, the Chichibu Harp Bridge is a symbolic structure that imparts a dramatic touch to this scenery. An additional charm is how the sea of clouds' appearance varies from moment to moment.In autumn, during the Rugby World Cup 2019(TM) games, a beautiful sea of clouds will spread out right before you along with gorgeous fall foliage.

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Route to RWC2019 Kumagaya/Saitama Venue

Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Nakatsu Gorge

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:Nakatsugawa, Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture 369-1903

EOS 5D Mark IV EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 1.6sec F16.0 ISO100

Nakatsu Gorge is the first suggestion one receives when asking about places in Saitama prefecture for seeing autumn leaves. The gorge covers about a 10-km area from the former Shiozawa district, painting the upper stretch of the Nakatsu river in a dazzling autumn display. The signature spot with mochioke-joro maple and other trees is spectacular, although the gorge also offers many varieties of scenery and some places with easy access to the river. Visitors are encouraged to stroll the area and find their favorite nook. The prime viewing season is from late October to early November.

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Route to RWC2019 Kumagaya/Saitama Venue

Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Tove Jansson Akebono Children's Forest Park

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:812 Azu, Hannō-shi, Saitama-ken 357-0046, Japan

EOS 6D Mark II EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 1/125sec F11.0 ISO800

This unique park was designed in the style of popular children's stories from Northern Europe. The very surreal atmosphere includes peculiar structures surrounded by larch trees, as if they had sprung from the pages of Jansson's books. On weekends, the park is popular with parents and children, and recently, it became one of Saitama's top spots for pictures shared on social media, drawing many eager photographers. Although all four seasons offer impressive scenery, the top recommendation is from late November to early December when the larch trees are cloaked in golden hues.

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Photo Spots in Kumagaya/Saitama

Gourmet Dining in the Vicinity

Photographer:
Takayuki Kanbe
Address:70 Kamichūjō, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama-ken 360-0001, Japan

EOS 6D Mark II EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 1/60sec F2.8 ISO100

Kumadon Farmers' Restaurant is located inside Kumagaya Sports & Culture Park, which also contains the Kumagaya Rugby Ground. To those who know Kumagaya's reputation as a prime wheat growing area, their udon noodles are like soul food. Their udon is made entirely from wheat harvested at the field adjacent to Kumagaya Rugby Ground, and their unique blend focuses on the wheat's fragrance and keeps diners asking for seconds. Customers are advised to first savor this aspect of the noodles before dipping them in any broth. A special gem is their curry, which is just as particular about local ingredients as the other menu items.

Access Map

Route to RWC2019 Kumagaya/Saitama Venue