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Exploring the Popular Sightseeing Spots in Saitama

Exploring the Popular Sightseeing Spots in Saitama

Date published: 22 October 2019

Just north of Tokyo, the vibrant and diverse prefecture of Saitama beckons travelers with a treasure trove of captivating attractions. Often overshadowed by its bustling neighbor, Tokyo, Saitama boasts an array of enchanting destinations that deserve their own spotlight. From the thrill of amusement parks to the serenity of historic shrines, there's something for every type of traveler. In this article, we embark on a journey to uncover the most popular sightseeing spots in Saitama, each offering a unique glimpse into the prefecture's rich culture, natural beauty, and modern allure.



Located approximately an hour away from either Ikebukuro or Shinjuku, MITSUI OUTLET PARK IRUMA boasts a remarkable selection of around 210 stores. Here, you can explore a diverse range of products, including renowned international brands, upscale fashion items, children's apparel, sports and outdoor gear, accessories, and so much more, all available at outlet prices.

Furthermore, the vicinity offers some delightful sightseeing opportunities, including one of the Kanto region's prime locations for cherry blossom viewing, as well as the renowned Nagatoro Riverboat ride, which takes you past the awe-inspiring Iwadatami rock formations.

If you're looking to immerse yourself in the charm of Edo-era Japan, nearby Kawagoe is a splendid choice. You can easily combine a half-day shopping excursion at the mall with sightseeing or opt for an entire day of retail therapy.

For your dining needs, the facility presents a remarkable selection of 17 restaurants, encompassing Japanese cuisine, sushi, Chinese delicacies, and various other culinary genres. Additionally, there's a convenient food court, making it an ideal destination for worry-free shopping, especially when accompanied by children.

2. Seibuen Amusement Park

2. Seibuen Amusement Park

Seibuen Amusement Park, situated in Tokorozawa, Saitama, offers a delightful array of permanent attractions to cater to visitors of all ages. Among the highlights are a beloved merry-go-round, a particular favorite among youngsters. For those seeking thrills, the park boasts spinning rides like the Octopus and Gyro Tower, as well as a towering Ferris wheel that provides panoramic views of the lush surroundings.

In the enchanting Meruhen Town, a whimsical realm brimming with beloved Sanrio characters, visitors can immerse themselves in attractions themed around iconic figures like Hello Kitty. Additionally, the Meruhen shop is a treasure trove of limited-edition character merchandise and more.

For a unique and engaging experience, don't miss the Atrax Series, where mental acuity and physical prowess come into play as you navigate the expansive park. This innovative form of entertainment combines elements of treasure hunts, compatibility tests, and puzzle-solving, promising a fresh and exciting adventure.

Seibuen Amusement Park also prides itself on being family-friendly, offering amenities such as nursing rooms, diaper-changing facilities, and the option to rent baby carriages. This ensures that parents can enjoy a worry-free day of fun with their little ones in tow.

3. Toki no Kane

3. Toki no Kane

The Chime of Time stands as an enduring symbol of Kawagoe, a town steeped in the rich traditions of Japanese warehouses. Cherished by the locals, this ancient timepiece has been faithfully marking the passage of time since the Edo Period, with its origins dating back a remarkable 400 years. Over the centuries, the tower and bell have undergone numerous reconstructions, as they were reborn from the ashes of fires that sought to silence their timeless chime.

Standing tall at an impressive 16 meters, the Chime of Time comprises three meticulously crafted wooden layers. Its resonant tones echo through the town four times a day, a steadfast reminder of the hours passing by. Though it now operates automatically, the melodic cadence that announces the time remains unaltered, a testament to its enduring heritage. In 1996, this cherished chime earned the distinction of being chosen as one of the "100 Soundscapes of Japan," a recognition of its cultural significance.

As the day unfolds, the Chime of Time takes on different personas, each imbued with a unique character. Its gentle melodies provide solace to those seeking a nostalgic connection and offer a soothing balm for the soul, making it a cherished presence in the lives of those who call Kawagoe home.



The Railway Museum, where an immersive and interactive journey through the fascinating history of railway technology awaits. Here, you can embark on a hands-on exploration of the evolution of rail transport, tracing its origins from the early Meiji era when it first took root in Japan, all the way to its contemporary advancements.

Beyond the captivating exhibits, an array of engaging attractions beckons. Step into the shoes of a locomotive engineer with driving simulators that simulate the experience of operating steam locomotives, JR Lines, and even the iconic bullet train. For those eager to delve deeper, there's a "train operators' workshop" classroom that offers unique insights into the world of railway operation.

Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to operate a miniature train system, navigating a 300-meter course—an experience that promises enjoyment for both adults and children alike. Should you need a respite, the museum features a welcoming restaurant where you can take a leisurely break and a museum shop brimming with original merchandise for sale.

Moreover, accessibility is a priority, with explanations and information on the exhibits conveniently available in English, Chinese, and Korean through QR codes and explanatory cards. The Railway Museum truly caters to a diverse audience, making it a destination where learning and fun seamlessly converge.

    • Address 3-47, Onaricho, Omiya-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama, 330-0852
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Omiya Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Saikyo Line / JR Kawagoe Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tobu Noda Line (Tobu Urban Park Line) / Ina Line (New Shuttle))
    • Phone Number 048-651-0088

5. MIDORIYA main shop

5. MIDORIYA main shop

MIDORIYA Co., Ltd., a company with a rich history dating back 44 years, stands firmly rooted in the heart of the local community. Renowned for its management of three pawnshops nestled in the charming 'Little Edo' of Kawagoe, MIDORIYA has forged deep connections with a loyal customer base over the years.

At the MIDORIYA main shop, discerning shoppers are treated to an enticing array of brand items offered at enticingly reduced prices. Stepping into this vibrant and welcoming establishment, customers are greeted by knowledgeable staff well-versed in the art of appraisals. They are eager to assist visitors in discovering high-quality products and providing top-notch trade-in services.

Whether you're in the market to buy or sell brand items and precious metals, MIDORIYA is the trusted name you can rely on. Their dedicated team eagerly anticipates your visit, ready to deliver a seamless and rewarding shopping experience.

6. Hanno-Kawara

6. Hanno-Kawara

Nestled along the Iruma River in Saitama Prefecture, Han'no-gawara unveils a vast and idyllic riverbed, enveloped by the serenity of nature. Remarkably, this tranquil oasis is just an hour's journey from the bustling heart of Tokyo, making it a beloved destination for families seeking a day of leisure and outdoor enjoyment.

As the seasons unfold their charms, Han'no-gawara offers a myriad of activities to engage visitors. Spring graces the landscape with the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms, drawing admirers to revel in the ephemeral spectacle. Summer, on the other hand, invites playful frolic in the river's shallow waters, where the cool respite from the heat is a cherished delight. Festive events like firework displays and the traditional art of goldfish scooping add to the summer's vibrancy.

When autumn arrives, the riverbank transforms into a tapestry of fiery hues, enchanting onlookers with its splendid fall foliage. It's the perfect time to gather a few crimson maple leaves as souvenirs of the season. Throughout the year, Han'no-gawara offers a wide array of recreational opportunities, ensuring year-round enjoyment for all.

For those with a penchant for outdoor grilling, the entire Han'nogawara riverbank doubles as an open barbecue area, no reservations required. Rental equipment is readily available, and a selection of barbecue essentials, including charcoal, firewood, canned beverages, and ice, can be conveniently purchased on-site. For a change of pace, visitors can also explore the tranquil waters by renting boats from the Nagurigawatei boating facility upstream.

As an added gem, the Agatsuma Valley beckons further upstream from Nagurigawatei, captivating all with its breathtaking fall foliage displays. Access to this natural wonder is a mere 15-minute stroll from Hanno station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, promising a picturesque journey through the changing seasons in this charming corner of Saitama.

7. Hitsujiyama Park

7. Hitsujiyama Park

Perched atop a hill that commands sweeping vistas of Chichibu, Saitama, Hitsujiyama Park takes its place within the embrace of the Prefectural Buko Natural Park, cocooned by a lush tapestry of greenery. This park is particularly renowned for its captivating display of moss phlox, or "shiba-zakura," that blankets the hillside in a spectacular show of color.

Moss phlox, despite its name evoking cherry blossoms, is actually a perennial plant native to North America. Its Japanese moniker, "shiba-zakura," translates to "turf cherry blossoms" due to its charming habit of unfurling petals that resemble cherry blossoms, creating a ground-hugging tapestry. Upon the hill, a mesmerizing array of nine distinct varieties of moss phlox, painted in an array of pink and purple hues, come together in a harmonious patchwork pattern, totaling an impressive 400,000 specimens.

Beyond the moss phlox, Hitsujiyama Park is celebrated for its cherry blossoms, where approximately 1,000 cherry trees, including Yoshino cherry, weeping cherry, and double-blooming cherry varieties, burst into splendid bloom during the spring season. As early summer graces the landscape, vibrant irises emerge to add another layer of natural beauty to this enchanting park.

In every season, Hitsujiyama Park beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and blooms, creating an idyllic haven for nature enthusiasts and seekers of tranquility alike.

8. MetLife Dome

8. MetLife Dome

MetLife Dome stands as a distinctive dome-shaped baseball stadium and proudly serves as the home ground for the esteemed Japanese professional baseball team, the Seibu Lions. This hallowed arena has borne witness to numerous iconic games that have etched their place in the annals of baseball history.

Nestled amid the scenic hills of Sayama, MetLife Dome offers not only riveting baseball action but also an ambiance that allows patrons to bask in the great outdoors. Its inception in 1979 marked the stadium as an open-air facility, but a pivotal transformation in 1999 saw it evolve into the dome-shaped indoor marvel it is today. Since the 2008 season, the stadium has embraced cutting-edge technology with the adoption of high-tech artificial turf, replacing the traditional surface, and the installation of a supremely shock-absorbent soft-rubber fence. Inside, a state-of-the-art large video screen underwent a comprehensive upgrade, ensuring an immersive viewing experience.

MetLife Dome remains a venue that constantly evolves and adapts to the demands of modern sports. On March 1, 2015, it assumed the name "Seibu Prince Dome," radiating with the energy and passion of countless fans throughout the baseball season.

Conveniently accessible, the stadium lies a mere six-minute stroll away from the Seibu-Kyujo-mae Station on the Seibu Sayama Line, making it easily reachable for fans eager to partake in the baseball excitement.

9. Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

9. Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, with its roots tracing back approximately 1,500 years to the Tumulus period, holds a venerable place in history. Since the year 1457 when the esteemed military commander Dokan Ota constructed Kawagoe Castle, this shrine has been venerated as a "sochinju," a guardian deity of the locality. Devoted to the deities known as Itsuhashira-no-kamisama, the shrine has been a cherished place of worship not only for ensuring a harmonious family life but also for seeking blessings in the realm of marriage.

It is a widely held belief that picking a small, white stone from the sacred grounds of the shrine and nurturing it will bestow the gift of a harmonious and prosperous union. Consequently, those in search of a special someone often make pilgrimages to this sacred site.

The shrine's present hall showcases intricate reliefs, while its historical treasures include valuable artifacts such as picture scrolls and ema wooden plaques, designated as tangible cultural properties of Kawagoe city. Throughout the year, a multitude of events grace the shrine's calendar. During the New Year's Prayer Ceremony for better fortune, fortune coins, believed to bring good luck for the year ahead, are cast from the shrine hall, drawing numerous participants eager to secure one.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine extends its divine favor to a wide spectrum of concerns, encompassing general well-being, harmonious relationships, good health, thriving businesses, safe childbirth, and blessings for children. Conveniently, the shrine is but a leisurely 20-minute walk from Kawagoe Station on the JR Saikyo Line, beckoning both pilgrims and visitors seeking the grace of its ancient deities.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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