The Terasaka Rice Terraces in Yokoze, Chichibu, will be open to the public for a special summer lights festival. Aside from the natural population of fireflies in the largest rice terraces in Saitama, there will be some 600 lights scattered throughout the area. Called "Kagari Fire," these lights use environment friendly fuel sourced from used tempura oil collected from the residents of Chichibu. Stage events begin at 16:30 p.m. while the lights begin to glow at 18:00. There will be booths selling cold and hot drinks, deep fried items, soup, rice sets, and sweets. Spend a magical evening surrounded by the gentle glow of eco-lights, stars, and fireflies. If you do not want to rush home to catch the trains, check out one of the two nearby onsens that offer overnight accommodations: Buko Onsen and Miasa. Advanced booking recommended.
From Ikebukuro, take the Seibu Ikebukuro line to Hanno. Transfer to the Seibu Chichibu line and get off at Yokoze station. The event site is 15 minutes walk away but on the event day, there is a free shuttle bus every 30 minutes to and from the station starting from 17:00. Parking is limited and visitors are discouraged from coming by car.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.