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Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Saitama
Population
6,938,004

Saitama

For a quick breath of fresh mountain air

If you’re looking for a no-hassle escape from the city, Saitama is the place to run to.

While much of eastern Saitama is swallowed by Tokyo’s metropolitan sprawl, the prefecture’s western borders remain safe havens of rural tradition, preserved history and a rocky mountainous landscape. Mount Fuji is clearly visible across much of the prefecture and is a promise of the natural beauty that lies just beyond the grey commuter towns. Since everything is located within a 100 kilometer distance of Japan’s capital, it’s one of the region’s most accessible destinations for day trips, offering a quick escape from the urban grind.

Explore the traditional streets of Kawagoe.

For a taste of traditional Japan, it’s a 30 minute train ride to Kawagoe also known as ‘Little Edo’. Picturesque alleyways are lined with historic houses and quaint shops offering up the local speciality of sweet potato in various surprising forms (potato ice cream, anyone?). Transfer at Kawagoe station for the scenic countryside of Hidaka which is especially beautiful during Autumn when Kinchakuda Park transforms into a sea of blood-red spider lilies.

River in Nagatoro Saitama

Go river boating or white water rafting in Nagatoro.

Head further into the mountains to Nagatoro, a small but pretty town that takes full vantage of its position along the raging Arakawa river by offering a variety of outdoor sports from traditional river boating to whitewater rafting to paragliding. There’s camping, hot springs and other requisites for a proper outdoorsy weekend.

Chichibu is also a popular mountain getaway. The area receives a spike of visitors in late April to Hitsujiyama Park to see the shibazakura, a giant pink and purple carpet of tiny moss plox, and again in December for the jam-packed and very rowdy Chichibu Night Festival.

Places to visit

Kawagoe

Step into Kawagoe and step into the past, back when Tokyo wasn't all high-rise buildings and neon lights – back when it was still called Edo.

Konosu

A record-breaking town.


River in Nagatoro Saitama

Nagatoro

A mountain day getaway.

Shopping in japan: Koshigaya LakeTown

Koshigaya LakeTown

Japan's largest mall is also its friendliest.


Saitama, Japan - September 20, 2014: Saitamashintoshin Station. The majority of the people walk towards the Saitama Super Arena that can be glimpsed through the windows to the right. Ahead tall office buildings rise - including the NTT DoCoMo Saitama building on the right.

Saitama Shintoshin

Ideal for a family-friendly day out.

Close up portrait of White Tiger for Tobu Zoo in Saitama.

Tobu Zoo

Hybrid leisure at its finest.


Fukaya Cinema

On the outskirts of Saitama, this half-theater-half-museum is a chance to slip through time.

Pink lotus and bud at Gyoda in Saitama

Gyoda Ancient Lotus Park

Prehistoric flowers and record-breaking rice paddy art at this park in rural Saitama.


Paper hanging to dry. You can make your own washi at the Saitama Crafts Center in Ogawa.

Saitama Craft Center

Take home a piece of Japanese culture by making washi in the traditional way.

Kitamoto Ishito Kabazakura

Kitamoto

Home to one of the five greatest cherry blossom trees in all of Japan.


A bath at the Ofuro Cafe Utatane in Saitama.

Ofuro Cafe Utatane

Coffee and bathing in this hybrid hub of relaxation.

Hundred Caves of Yoshimi in Saitama

The Hundred Caves of Yoshimi

Glimpse into the afterlife at these mysterious graves.


"Cherry tree on the hill, Sakitama Kofun, Saitama, Japan"

Sakitama Kofun Park

Borrow a bicycle and spend the day riding alongside the passage of time to these ancient burial mounds.

Bonsai on display.

Omiya Bonsai Village

Experience hundreds of different narratives through the knots and leaves of a beautifully curated bonsai forest.


Toyama Memorial Museum

A walk through the everyday life of a not so everyday person.

Tokyo Backstreet Bicycle Tour

Discover the local's Tokyo on this backstreet bike cruising tour.


Pocky Factory

Behold, the Japanese equivalent of Charlie's chocolate works: the Pocky factory.

Chichibu

Quirky, outdoorsy, dreamy. Frozen waterfalls are just the start of this wonderland.


Icicles of Ashigakubo

Chichibu’s icy winter wonderland attraction!

4 LGBT Bars in Saitama

Tokyo can’t have all the fun. Check out some of Saitama’s own LGBT bars and haunts.

Other Destinations in Kanto

Chiba prefecture boasts a dynamic and dramatic coastline.

Chiba

There’s a lot more to Japan’s international gateway than you might expect.

Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

Gunma

Within toe-dipping distance of Tokyo, Gunma's onsen haven is the perfect bathing escape.

Fukuroda Falls, Ibaraki

Ibaraki

Full of interesting sights, Ibaraki prefecture should natto be underestimated.

Yokohama is Tokyo's chic and cosmopolitan neighbor.

Kanagawa

Kanagawa offers much more than just a convenient location.

Wisteria in Tochigi Prefecture

Tochigi

Heavyweight cultural heritage combined with a breathtaking natural landscape.

People eating and drinking in Yurakucho Tokyo Japan.

Tokyo

From glittering skyscrapers to rickety ramen shacks, Tokyo is a dazzling mix of the ultra modern and traditional.