15 Things to Do in Saitama

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Things To Do in Saitama
Source: Daisuke tashiro

Saitama is a city that is north of Tokyo. It is mostly a residential city for people who commute daily to Tokyo. While it is not a popular tourist destination, it has its fair share of fun attractions. Tourists are sure to impress Japanese people with their knowledge of a relatively unknown part of Japan. Check out these 15 things to do if you happen to find yourself in the area.

1. Saitama Railway Museum

DSC_0217 Source: David McKelvey

A great place for train enthusiasts and for families! The museum contains the history of the railway in Japan. It has many exhibits that show previous types of train cars, has different simulators to show how trains work, and explanations of the evolution of train technology. Most of the trains can be experienced first hand, as they allow you to walk inside and sit in them.

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2. Visit Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine

5747161478_8f43d0b815_bSource: Norio NAKAYAMA

This shrine was the head shrine of the former Musashi Province. The shrine has beautiful scenery with its gorgeous trees. The main shrine has a large two-storied gate that is sure to delight those interested in Japanese architecture. It is one of the most visited shrines in Japan during hatsumode, a visit to a shrine on New year’s day. Come here to spend a relaxing afternoon and learn some interesting Japanese history.

Information

  • Name: Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine
  • Address: 1-407, Takahana-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama-shi
  • Price: free
  • Opening hour: Sun-Sat 5:30AM – 5:30 PM
  • Website: http://musashiichinomiya-hikawa.or.jp/

3. Saitama Stadium 2002

1235808981_2eba9de702_bSource: yoppy

It is no secret that baseball is a national pastime in Japan. For those who love baseball, be sure to catch a game at Saitama stadium 2002. Even if you are not a fan, come for the great atmosphere and the lively Japanese fans.

Information

  • Name: Saitama Stadium 2002
  • Address: 2478 Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661, Tochigi Prefecture
  • Price: varies based on game
  • Opening hour: Depends on the game
  • Website: http://www.stadium2002.com/

4. See the beautiful flowers at Shibazakura Hill

8701325239_a82603ff6c_kSource: Kuruman

Shibazakura Hill is a place in Hitsujiyama Park. During blooming season, the entire area is covered with small pink, blue, and white flowers. The colors are vibrant and joyful. Come here for a fun filled day with lots of pictures!

Information

  • Name: Shibazakura Hill
  • Address: 6630 Omiya, Chichibu-shi
  • Price: 300 yen
  • Opening hour: Sun-sat 8AM-5PM

5. See the Cherry blossoms in Saitama Omiya Park

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Source: TANAKA Juuyoh

During cherry blossom season, the park is filled with blooming flowers. It should be a beautiful sight to see and an enjoyable walk for the whole family.

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6. Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

13593492323_a76d8e121e_kSource: Guilhem Vellut

This museum has a huge history of the cultivation of the bonsai tree. There is an impressive number of different types of bonsai, both small and large, old and new. Here you will learn everything you want to know about the bonsai tree. There is even a bonsai shop where you may purchase your own.

Information

  • Name: Omiya Bonsai Art Museum
  • Address: 331-0804 Saitama Prefecture, Saitama
  • Price: 300 yen
  • Opening hour: Sunday-Saturday 9AM-4:30PM
  • Website: http://omiyabonsai.jp/museum

7. Attend the Keyaki Hiroba Beer Festival

If you find yourself in the Saitama area during spring, you might be able to catch the Keyaki Hiroba Beer Festival. It is one of the biggest beer festivals in the Kanto region. For those who are beer lovers, this is a great place to try out the different breweries Japan has to offer.

8. Tsuki Shrine

This shrine is dedicated to the moon goddess. It is famous for its full moon rituals. The area has many rabbit decorations as a symbol for the moon. There is also a flea market here that is every fourth Saturday of the month. You can enjoy the whimsical shrine in addition to buying kimonos and other products here.

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9. Catch a soccer game at NACK5 Stadium Omiya

9436522310_cd8477247a_kSource: Norio NAKAYAMA

While this stadium is on the small side, it brings a more intimate feeling for the fans due to its size. If you are a soccer fan, this is a great place to see a game and have some fun.

Information

  • Name: NACK5 Stadium Omiya
  • Address: 4 Takahanacho, Omiya Ward, Saitama
  • Price: Depends on soccer game
  • Opening hour: Depends on game schedule
  • Website: http://stadium.nack5.co.jp/

10. Besshonuma Park

This park is a great place for families to spend the afternoon. There is a huge pond where you can see wild birds and ducks. You can also see interesting gingko trees that are beautiful during the fall when they turn red and yellow. Great place for jogging for those of you interested in some active workouts!

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11. Yono Park

This park is a local park frequented by residents. In the mornings, you can see the local people practicing tai chi. There is a small pond and beautiful garden. It is a great place to just relax and enjoy some scenery.

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12. Omiya Park Zoo

This is a free zoo that is inside Omiya park. It is a good place to bring the kids to see some interesting animals such as the Japanese bear and some hyenas. It is not a large zoo, but a quick walk through and a small attraction in Omiya.

Information

  • Name: Omiya Park Zoo
  • Address:330-0803 Saitama Prefecture, Saitama
  • Price: free

13. Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore

For those interested in some of the history of how Saitama came to be, this is a museum dedicated to history and folklore. While it is not a big tourist attraction, it is a hidden gem for those who love history.

Information

  • Name: Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore
  • Address:4-219 Takahanacho, Omiya Ward, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture 330-0803

14. Oshi Castle

Oshi Castle is a Japanese castle that is well known as the “Floating Castle of Oshi” due to its interesting look. It has withstood many big battles over the course of history. It is an interesting place to visit for those interested in the military and warfare or in architecture.

Information

  • Name: Oshi Castle
  • Address:361-0052 Saitama Prefecture, Gyoda Prefecture
  • Price: 200 yen
  • Hours: Sunday to Saturday 9AM-4:30PM

15. Nagatoro Boating

11043333585_fb66d49c27_kSource: Guilem Vellut

One of the most exciting things to do in Saitama is to go boating in Nagatoro. You board a traditional Japanese boat and go on the Arakawa River. Great for those looking for an adventure as the slow river becomes a rapid current as you move along. While Saitama is still relatively unknown, there are still many fun and exciting places for visitors to enjoy.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan, Kanto Region, Saitama Prefecture