Mt Hodo is a mountain in the Nagatoro area of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. At the top of the mountain there is a plum blossom grove. There are close to 500 plum blossoms in the plum blossom grove on Mt Hodo. Every year, while the plum blossoms are in bloom, the Nagatoro Tourism Association hosts a plum blossom festival at the garden. They set the dates close to the time of the festival after watching the weather conditions and the patterns of bloom of other flora on the mountain.
Generally, the festival is held from around February 22nd to mid-March. The first weekend of the festival usually overlaps with the last weekend of the wintersweet festival that is held in the neighboring wintersweet garden on the mountain. During the period of the festival they host several special events including hiking and food events.
There is no road to the top of the mountain, so whether you come by car or public transport you have to walk some of the way to the plum blossom grove. However, there is a ropeway from the foot of the mountain that brings you close to the grove. It only takes a couple of minutes to get to the top of the mountain by ropeway. On foot, it is about an hours hike.
The nearest train station is the Nagatoro Station on the Chichibu Tetsudo line. During the period of the plum blossom festival there is normally a shuttle bus from the station to the ropeway. On foot it takes about 20 minutes. Please note, that the shuttle bus was cancelled in 2020 on account of the Coronavirus. However, the festival went ahead as normal.
The nearest highway exit is Hanazono Interchange on the Kanetsu, which is about a 40 minute drive from the area. You can use the Minano Yorii by-pass for convenience. The nearest interchange on that bypass is the Nagatoro Minano Interchange.
Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog insaitama.com for 14 of them. Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experien...