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Kawagoe Kawagoe

Kanto Saitama Sightseeing and nature adventures in Tokyo's neighboring prefecture

Cherry Blossoms

Forecast of first bloom

19 Mar 2021

Forecast of full bloom

29 Mar 2021

Saitama borders Tokyo but offers its own array of outdoor adventures and living Edo history

A major transportation hub and a stop on the way to Nikko during the Edo period, Saitama is now an urban commuter area. The Edo atmosphere remains, however, in many of its historic towns such as Kawagoe. Close enough to Tokyo to offer a quick getaway to the beauty of nature, mountainous areas like Chichibu offer easy hiking and seasonal flowers, while semi-rural Sayama is dotted with emerald-green tea fields.

How to Get There

Many parts of Saitama are just 30 minutes by train from Tokyo's major stations, with express trains to Omiya and beyond.

Home to many commuters who work in Tokyo, Saitama is easy to reach by train. Omiya Station is a major hub for the area. The JR Takasaki and Utsunomiya lines connect Saitama with major Tokyo stations such as Shinagawa, Tokyo and Ueno. From Shibuya and Ikebukuro, you can take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku or Saikyo lines. These options all take about half an hour. Once you've reached Saitama, local trains criss-cross most of the prefecture.

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Don’t Miss

  • Outdoor adventures at Nagatoro in the mountains and rivers of Chichibu
  • The “Little Edo” of Kawagoe with its historical warehouse district
  • Fields of spring flowers at Hitsujiyama Park and autumn vistas in the Nakatsu Valley
  • The cavernous interior of the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel in Kasukabe

Local Specialties

  • Soka Senbei

    Senbei are rice crackers, the Japanese version of the potato chip, and Soka is where they originated. Senbei come in all varieties of flavors, including soy sauce, curry and yuzu, to name a few. They go great with ice-cold beer.

  • Chichibu Silk Textiles

    Double-sided patterns give this iridescent textile its popular appeal—a faded kimono could be reversed and enjoy a second life. Silk-making thrived in Chichibu, a mountainous area that was ill-suited for agriculture but perfect for silkworm farming.

  • Iwatsuki Dolls

    Originally made by off-season farmers, artisanal dollmaking in Iwatsuki dates back to the 17th century. Garbed in traditional regalia, Iwatsuki ningyo figurines are synonymous with the annual festivals for boys and girls.


Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    In spring, Saitama’s parks and mountains burst into color with blooming flowers. Visit Omiya Park and the neighboring Hikawa-jinja Shrine to picnic under the cherry blossoms.

    chichibu area
  • Summer

    Enjoy vibrant summer festivals with elaborate floats in historic Kawagoe. Cool down in the rivers and mountains of the Chichibu area.

    Nagatoro Town Area
  • Autumn

    Brilliant autumn colors paint the river valleys, parks and mountains. The Tour de France Saitama Criterium draws the world's best cyclists to Omiya.

    chichibu area
  • Winter

    Winter offers ice skating, illuminations at Tobu Zoo, and Chichibu Yomatsuri, one of the Kanto region’s biggest winter festivals.

    Chichibu Yomatsuri

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