Kumagaya is one of the venues where international rugby matches are held. It is well-known as a "rugby town" that has had a long and prosperous relationship with the sport. Located in northern Saitama Prefecture and surrounded by lush nature, the place is also famous for its delicious specialties made from local ingredients such as wheat and onions.
We've searched through the vicinity of the stadium to find you five of the best places to enjoy these specialties, from seafood to Western cuisine, shops offering alcoholic beverages, and many more!
Fukuzushi: Reasonably Priced Japanese Sake and Authentic Sushi During the Day
This sushi shop where you can have an authentic sushi lunch for 1,000 yen (tax included) is a 12 minute walk from Kumagaya Rugby Ground. Sit at the counter to watch the chef prepare your order from start to end, until it's being served right up to you. There are Japanese-style rooms here as well, where you can lounge atop traditional tatami, or straw mats while munching on fresh sushi for the full local experience.
One of the more popular lunch items here is "Plum Sushi (1,000 yen, tax included)", made using a generous amount of fresh fish acquired from nearby Omiya Market. The colorful presentation can really whet a person's appetite! The platter contains tuna, octopus, salmon, prawn, eel, and various other types of seafood. All ingredients are purchased directly from Omiya Market by the owner, who chooses them based on freshness and season.
Japanese sake that goes well with sushi is also available, or you can try pairing the stronger tasting shochu (distilled Japanese spirit) together with your great-tasting sushi as well.
- Address 499-4 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0004
8 minutes by bus from Kumagaya Station on the JR lines, 10 minutes walk after getting off at Kitakoizuka Bus Stop.
- Phone Number 048-525-9376
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Ru-pan Cafe: Western Cuisine with Generous Portions
A chain franchise centered in Saitama Prefecture, this family restaurant provides an amazing variety of delicious pizza and pasta for its patrons. Some dishes can be ordered as takeout too!
You can receive discounts on a few select items depending on the day of the week, and if you're fortunate enough, you may be able to catch their half-price pizza campaigns as well. Check their homepage for more details!
We recommend the lunch menu that's available between 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., which comes with pasta, salad, pizza, soup, and free flow service drink bar access for a surprisingly reasonable 650 yen (tax excluded). The pizza slice that comes as a side is so ingredient-heavy, you may have trouble finishing the entire set meal if you're a small eater!
It's not just about the quantity, though. Each item has been tastily prepared and you may find yourself wondering how it's possible to offer so much good food at such low prices! The shop is open until midnight, and alcohol beverages are available for ordering as well, so it's a convenient place to stop by both before and after a rugby match.
- Address 734-1 Koizuka, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0015
8 minutes by bus from Kumagaya Station on the JR lines, 1 minute walk after getting off at Kitakoizuka Bus Stop.
- Phone Number 048-526-9511
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – midnight
Closed: Open daily
KANAYA: Soba and Japanese Sake Indulgence
This restaurant has been in business for 26 years and is one of Kumagaya's more well-known soba, or buckwheat noodle shops. The most distinct characteristic of this shop is that the original soba being sold here are made with matured buckwheat fruits as ingredients instead of newly harvested young buckwheat.
Matured soba has a strong taste that more accurately reflects buckwheat's original flavor and goes exceptionally well with Japanese sake or shochu. The selection of alcoholic beverages here - from Japanese sake to shochu, beer, local craft beer, and others - is impressive and reflects a keen adherence to good quality.
Besides soba, the restaurant also offers course meals featuring Japanese cuisine made from seasonal ingredients and paired with an appropriate cup of alcoholic beverage. This place is often crowded, so we recommend including some leeway into your travel time if you decide to plan a trip down.
(*For dinner, course meals are reservations-only)
- Address 612-2 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0004
10 minutes by bus from Kumagaya Station on JR Lines, 10 minutes walk after getting off at Kamikawakamiiriguchi Bus Stop.
- Phone Number 048-523-9358
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays
Nishinoya: Seafood and Drinks
Nishinoya is a quick 5 minute walk from in front of Kumagaya Sports. A relatively new shop that just opened in 2014, it's nevertheless often packed with people seeking to fill their bellies with their popular seafood rice bowl during lunch time.
When night falls, the place becomes a calm place for drinks, where you can enjoy the perfect combination of alcohol and fresh fish - handpicked from the market by the owner himself.
Besides sashimi, you'll find interesting grilled food like "Tuna Gills (980 yen, tax excluded), "Grilled Mackerel (780 yen, tax excluded)", and others that go well with Japanese sake, along with deep-fried food that is considered standard fare in Japanese-style izakaya pubs such as these. All in all, a great candidate to consider settling your dinner in during match days or normal days as well!
We would also like to highly recommend the latest Kumagaya specialty food being sold here: The rugby-shaped sushi called "Rug-Inari (3 pieces, 300 yen, tax excluded"! You can either buy it as takeout, or order it as a side dish to go along with your favorite Japanese sake.
- Address 136 Imai, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0005
10 minutes by bus from Kumagaya Station, 1 minute walk after getting off at Akagi Shrine Bus Stop.
- Phone Number 048-501-7069
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Closed On: Wednesdays
Amyuze Restaurant: Elegant French Cuisine Before the Match
The restaurant is about a 15 minute walk from Kumagaya Rugby Ground. It is a place for reasonably priced French cuisine made mostly from locally-sourced ingredients. Despite the fact that it's quite a distance away from Kumagawa Station, this popular restaurant is often crowded with customers.
The menu here is flexible enough to be tailored for different scenarios. For example, you can have a casual lunch in the afternoon and then a luxurious full course dinner for you and your loved ones at night, all in the same place.
Vegetarian food is available as well, so feel free to ask for the menu. The shop is also equipped with wifi - an amenity that is sure to be appreciated by travelers.
Each dish is carefully prepared to perfection with a combination of locally-sourced ingredients and ingredients directly imported from France. Pasta is the main dish for lunch, and is available as the popular "Spaghetti Lunch (1,944 yen, tax excluded)" that consists of salad, soup, and homemade bread.
Happily enough, the varied menu accommodates other preferences as well. For example, if you're feeling like something more indulgent, their 5,000 yen course meal will sate that desire and then some! More than 90% of the customers here are ladies, so you'll be able to enjoy a good meal in a calm and mellow atmosphere.
Amyuze Restaurantレストラン アミュゼ
- Address 513-1 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0004
8 minutes by bus from Kumagaya Station, 11 minutes walk after getting off at Shukuura Bus Stop.
- Phone Number 048-526-1771
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays (if Monday falls on a public holiday, Tuesday)
There aren't a whole lot of eateries around the Kumagaya Rugby Ground, but each shop has its own distinct taste and serves exquisite cuisine that can only be found in Kumagaya. After filling your stomach, go ahead and take a leisurely walk around the natural parks in the vicinity of the Rugby Ground, and open your senses fully to the "natural power" of Kumagaya - a place that has given birth to countless unique and delicious specialty goods and foods.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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