In 2001, Urawa, Omiya and Yono merged to become Saitama City, and were later joined by Iwatsuki. These four former cities, each with its own unique cultural traditions and festivals that have been passed down from generation to generation, make Saitama City a destination with a lot to offer visitors.
To see bonsai at their best, visit the Omiya area’s Bonsai Village, a neighborhood of bonsai nurseries and home to The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum. Established in the wake of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, when Tokyo bonsai gardeners were forced to find a new base, the village boasts six that welcome buyers and visitors. The neighboring Yono area, meanwhile houses Yono Park, renowned for its rose garden.
The Iwatsuki area is one of the most famous ningyo doll towns in Japan. It has many ningyo studios and the Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum. With a history dating back hundreds of years, these Japanese dolls are still in popular use today for Girls Day and Boys Day celebrations.
The Urawa area is famous for its unagi eel food culture, and there are still many unagi restaurants that carry on the traditional techniques and tastes from the Edo period (1603-1868).
In summer, time your trip to Saitama to coincide with one of more than 10 major festivals and fireworks displays that are held in the city each year.
31 minutes from JR Tokyo Station by train
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