Mitsumine Shrine is both a famous “power spot” and a gateway to hiking Mt. Kumotori. It’s also one of Chichibu’s most well-known spots. A long and winding bus ride (1 hour 15 min) from Seibu-Chichibu Station (in Saitmama Prefecture) delivers you to an altitude of about 1,500 m and the entrance to the shrine.
The shrine buildings have beautifully intricate awnings with most being well-preserved wooden structures. Adding to the enchanting atmosphere of this secluded mountain shrine are the many towering cedar trees all around—including those that allegedly exude power to people who touch them (and who perhaps also donate a few yen).
There’s a hot spring (great if you’re a hiker returning from Mt. Kunotori) and, to top the experience off, there’s even an old-school Japanese coffee house with black-trousered, bow-tie-clad waiters—a cultural phenomenon in itself (don’t expect to get a single origin flat white).
Check the bus timetables carefully, at the time of writing there’s special late return buses on weekends departing at 5:30pm, but weekdays last bus back is normally 3:30pm.