Saitama Travel: 7 classic spots you must not miss when sightseeing

Saitama Prefecture, which is quite accessible from Tokyo, is full of attractive sightseeing spots! We have carefully selected 7 places worth visiting, including photo-worthy museums, beautiful natural scenery, and shopping spots. Enjoy a memorable trip in Saitama, where Japanese traditions and modern entertainment merge!


What is Saitama Prefecture?

Saitama Prefecture is located in the northern part of Tokyo and is very conveniently accessible by train, about 30 minutes from central Tokyo. It is characterized by a combination of rich nature, historical buildings, and modern shopping centers and amusement facilities.

For example, in areas rich in nature, visitors can enjoy hiking and hot springs, as well as local delicacies and traditional crafts. In addition, modern shopping malls and concert halls are clustered together, allowing visitors to enjoy urban leisure activities.

Although Saitama Prefecture is a suburb of Tokyo, it is a region where city and nature, tradition and modernity are in harmony.

Kadokawa Culture Museum (角川武蔵野ミュージアム)

Kadokawa Culture Museum in Tokorozawa City is a cultural complex that combines a library, art museum, and museum. Visitors can enjoy diverse genres of art and culture. Its architecture was designed by the famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and its unique design is one of its attractions.

Inside, there are permanent exhibits related to books, anime, and manga, the most noteworthy of which is a huge bookshelf approximately 8 meters high. Projection mapping is also shown, and visitors are sure to be moved by the images that seem to pop out from the books. There is also a merchandise store and a café where visitors can relax.

10 minutes walk from Higashi Tokorozawa Station on JR Musashino Line


Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park (国営武蔵丘陵森林公園)

Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park
Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park

Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park is commonly known as Forest Park. It is a vast 304-hectare national park located in Namegawa-cho, Hiki-gun and Yoi, Kumagaya City. There are many events and playground equipment that allow families to exercise and play with all their might, such as “Pompoko Mountain,” the largest air trampoline in Japan, and the “Adventure Course,” an athletic course that takes advantage of the wooded terrain and takes about one hour to complete a circuit.

The forest, which changes from season to season, and the large flower garden are also attractive. Visitors can also enjoy BBQ at the West Field. A meal enjoyed in the midst of nature is exceptional.

Since it is difficult to move around the large park on foot, we recommend taking the park bus or cycling to get around. There are many entrances to the park, so you can play more efficiently if you check the desired playground equipment and picnic areas in advance.

Tobu Tojo Line Shinrinkoen Station(森林公園駅) (approx. 60 min. by express train from Ikebukuro), approx. 7 min. by bus bound for Rissho University, 5 min. walk from Namegawa Junior High School Bus Stop(滑川中学校) or approx. 7 min. by bus bound for Park South Exit (only on weekends and holidays)
Take a bus at JR Kumagaya Station and transfer at Rissho University(立正大学) to Shinrinkoen West gate entrance(森林公園西口入口) (about 30 minutes) or Forest Park South gate entrance(森林公園南口入口) (about 35 minutes).

Entrance fee

Metropolitan Area Outer Discharge Channel (首都圏外郭放水路)

Metropolitan Area Outer Discharge Channel
Metropolitan Area Outer Discharge Channel

Metropolitan Area Outer Discharge Channel, a huge underground temple in Kasukabe City, is a disaster prevention facility that releases water to protect the metropolitan area from flood damage.

Tours are offered daily, and visitors can enjoy learning about the wonders of the underground, how water works, floods, and more as they experience the grandeur of the spillway. Please note that all tours involve ascending and descending approximately 100 steps, and that some areas may be wet, slippery, or dark.

30-35 minutes walk from North Exit of Minami Sakurai Station on the Tobu Noda Line (Tobu Urban Park Line)
*Buses have limited operation days and hours, and cabs in front of the station may not be available.

Tours and Fees

Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma (三井アウトレットパーク入間)

Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma
Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma

Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma is an outlet mall located in Iruma City. It offers high quality products from famous manufacturers, brands, and select stores in Japan and abroad.

Its site area is approximately 86,000 square meters with a total of more than 200 stores. Of these, more than 180 outlets for famous domestic and international brands are located here. Most of the stores are fashion-related, but there are also a variety of outdoor, sports, accessory, fashion sundries, and children’s goods stores.

Also, the Costco Iruma Warehouse is adjacent to the store, so why not shop there in combination?

15 min. on the Seibu Bus bound for Mitsui Outlet Park from the south exit of Irumashi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, get off at the Mitsui Outlet Park Mae stop(三井アウトレットパーク前), and walk shortly.

Kawagoe Ichibangai Shopping Street (川越一番街商店街)

Kawagoe Ichibangai Shopping Street

Kawagoe Ichibangai Shopping Street in Kawagoe City is lined with buildings with a rich warehouse-style appearance. It is nicknamed “Koedo(little Edo) Kawagoe” in Japan. In recent years, new buildings have been constructed in such a way that they do not destroy the landscape, and the city is being developed in harmony with the new and the old.

There is a wide variety of one-hand gourmet food available, and you can enjoy sweets made from Kawagoe’s famous sweet potatoes, pudding, buns, cheesecake, etc. while viewing the cityscape. Why not take a stroll while feeling the history of Japan?

10 minute walk from Honkawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line.

Kitain Temple (喜多院)

Kitain Temple
Kitain Temple

Kitain Temple is located in Kawagoe City, one of the three major temples in Kanto, and is nationally famous as a representative temple of Saitama Prefecture. It is said that at Kawagoe Daishi Kita-in Temple, visitors will be blessed with good fortune in the form of good luck, family safety, and prosperous business.

In spring, the cherry blossoms on the temple grounds bloom, attracting many cherry blossom-viewing visitors.

Get off at Kawagoe Station on the JR Tobu Tojo Line or Hon-Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line, and get off at Kita-in-mae(喜多院前) bus stop by Koedo round bus.

Hitsujiyama Park (羊山公園)

Hitsujiyama Park
Hitsujiyama Park

Located on the east side of Chichibu City, Hitsujiyama Park is situated on top of a small hill overlooking Chichibu City. The park is known for its Moss phlox hill, famous for its grass cherry blossoms planted all over the hill, which attracts a large number of tourists during the best time of the year, from April to early May.

The area planted with moss phlox is one of the largest in the Kanto region, covering approximately 17,600 square meters with more than 400,000 plants of nine varieties. During the blooming period, Chichibu Road Specialty Market will be held next to the hill where gourmet foods, souvenirs, and agricultural products will be sold, and various events will be held in the town. Why not come and see the colorful moss phlox?

Approximately 20 minutes walk from Seibu Railway Yokoze Station
Approximately 20 minutes walk from Seibu Chichibu Station of Seibu Railway
20 min. walk from Chichibu Railway Ohanabatake Station (Shibazakura Station)

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