Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp


Soka Matsubara

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Soka Matsubara


Walking along the “Big Bonsai Road” on the footsteps of Matsuo Basho

Soka City


Soka Matsubara seen from Yatate Bridge


A scenic stone-paved road stretching 1.5km along the Ayase River in Soka City, Saitama Prefecture, Soka Matsubara is lined by 634 pine trees, some of which reach 2m in diameter, and is the ideal place for a leisurely stroll. Carefully pruned and well-maintained, the pine trees look just like massive bonsai, earning this beautiful promenade the nickname of “Big Bonsai Road.” In 2014, Soka Matsubara was designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty associated with ‘Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North),’ a travel diary written by famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho (1644-94).


Row of pine trees along the Ayase River


Located north of Soka-shuku, a post-town along the ancient Nikko Kaido Road, Soka Matsubara has been known as a scenic spot since the Edo Period (1603-1868). In the spring of 1689, Basho, accompanied by his disciple Kawai Sora, set off from Edo (modern-day Tokyo) on a journey for the northerly interior regions known as Oku. In ‘Oku no Hosomichi’ he writes: “It seemed to me instead that I should be fortunate if I managed to come home alive. Leaving this uncertainty for the future to decide, I pursued my journey to a post-town called Soka which we were barely able to reach the day of our departure.” (Translation by Donald Keene)


Statue of Matsuo Basho


Walk along the promenade surrounded by the soothing green of the pine trees and take in the atmosphere of the Edo period. Don’t miss the two pedestrian bridges Hyakutai Bridge and Yatate Bridge, whose names are derived from ‘Oku no Hosomichi’ and which are a symbol of Soka City. Their arched, elegant shape will make you feel like you have stepped into an ukiyo-e print! The place also features a statue of Matsuo Basho and a watchtower that offers panoramic views of the Ayase River.



How to get there


From Ueno Station, take the Hibiya Line through Tobu Skytree Line to Dokkyodaigakumae (Soka-Matsubara) Station (30 minutes), then walk 5 minutes from the East Exit.


Soka City Tourist Information Center
2-9-1 Takasago, Soka-shi, Saitama-ken (Soka Marui 1F)



Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages