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Saitama Prefecture
Sakura Spots March - April

■Nagatoro | Nagatoro Town

Nagatoro, a small town 80 kilometers north from central Tokyo is a place of scenic beauty at the upper stream of Arakawa River. In spring, the row of cherry trees stretching out along Arakawa River north to south from Nagatoro Station is absolutely astonishing. You can take a wonderful walk through the tunnel of shower of cherry blossoms on a warm sunny day. There are quite a number of old trees, but there are many young trees as well. Among 2,000 cherry trees, the 200 year-old (estimate) Edohiganzakura and the weeping cherry tree with 16 meters of branch spread in Hozenji temple grounds are especially worth having a look.

■Minoyama Park | Minano Town
The 583-meter-high Mt.Minoyama is located on the border of Minano Town and Chichibu City, and is the only independent mountain in Chichibu district. On the top of the mountain is Minoyama Park, and about 10,000 cherry trees in 97 different kinds blossom in spring. The facilities are in good condition and the park is a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms.

Foliage Spots October

■Nagatoro | Nagatoro Town

Nagatoro a quiet town situated 80km north of central Tokyo and is a place of scenic beauty at the upper streams of Arakawa River. Recommended is Arakawa gorge where a number of odd rocks and stones forming a rough and sharp gorge, and the autumn leaves covering the gorge from above is simply outstanding. You can enjoy the best of autumn leaves on a boat ride which allows you to look at the tunnel of red and golden leaves from below. In the nearby area you can see winter cherry blossoms from October through January. Nagatoro is one of the very rare places where you can see red leaves and cherry blossoms at the same time. A view from National Route 462 and 299 are also very beautiful.

Prefectural Guide


The history of Kawagoe as a castle town started with the founding of the Kawagoejo Castle dating back in 1457. Conversely to the station area which is becoming more and more urbanized, the center of the city Ichibangai still retains many Japanese old-style storage houses build after the huge fire in 1893. You can also enjoy restaurants that serve dishes with locak Kawagoe-imo (a kind of potatoes), souvenir shops and old-fashioned cheap candy shops.

Chichibu is probably most known for the grand festival “Chichibu-yomatsuri” held every December. As for sightseeing, it is an area where a variety of outdoor activities may be enjoyed such as hiking, fresh strawberry and grape picking. The hot springs have been gathering attention recently, and bathhouses for day-trips are especially very popular. On the Chichibuji, steam locomotives which have now become very rare in Japan still run.
Omiya Bonsai Village
Located at the entrance to the bonsai village, it is the closest bonsai garden from  Omiya-Koen Station. It contains a wide variety of trees, whose expression changes with the seasons.

This garden features bonsai related to each of the four seasons.  Emphasis is placed on the research into the growing of bamboo bonsai.

This garden showcases everything from wild mountain grasses to high art bonsai.  The Ezo pine is a must to see.  A course in the art of growing bonsai is offered.
Tougyoku Dolls Museum This is the largest doll museum in Iwatsuki Ward with a wide variety of dolls on exhibit. In a workshop, visitors can experience doll making.
Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine
Having over 2000 years of history, the namesake of the city of Omiya (Omiya means “big shrine” in Japanese) Hikawa Shrine is one of the oldest and most revered shrines in Japan. Worshippers from all over the Kanto Region flock to the shrine in droves during New Year’s celebrations (Jan 1st-3rd) to pray for good luck in the coming year. In May Hikawa Shrine plays host to the annual Omiya Takigi Noh Performance, which invites onlookers to experience the subtle and profound world of traditional Japanese theatre.
John Lennon Museum
The world's first museum dedicated to John Lennon, the former Beatles member who was killed by an assassin's bullet in 1980. The exhibit features about 130 items connected with Lennon including musical instruments, clothing, personal items, lyrics, manuscripts and photos. Some of the exhibited items are the personal possessions belonging to John's wife, Yoko Ono.

Sakurasou Park
Tajimagahara located on the bed of the Arakawa River, where wild primroses blossom from the middle to the end of April, has been designated as a Special Natural Treasure.

Spirited Away (2001)
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Yasunari Kawabata
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Inazo Nitobe
  • Japanese Tea
  • Bonsai
  • VAIO
  • Canon

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