Ideal for a family-friendly day out.
If you’re looking to get some shopping done in Japan but don’t want to brave the crowds, taking a small trip outside of Tokyo to Saitama-Shintoshin will be a much more pleasant experience. Billed as the new “heart of Saitama” when it began redevelopment more than ten years ago, Saitama Shintoshin is a comprehensive transport, shopping and entertainment complex that does everything it’s supposed to, and more.
A direct train ride away on the JR Takasaki Line, Saitama Shintoshin is easily accessible from the capital but the number of people you’ll have to fight during time sales is much lower, which means it’s a much more ideal place to take kids. In fact, the majority of the facilities are set up to cater to the whole family – making it an ideal one-stop shop for a day out with the entire squad.
From the station, head to the three-building mall complex Cocoon via the covered walkway where there are shops from all over the world, as well as a play area for children, an arcade and a movie theater. Feeling tired? Check out one of the family-friendly massage parlors. You’ll find many of the restaurants have specific kid-friendly menus, and many allow pets on the terrace seats too.
There are often events and performances in the covered courtyard, like an indoor summer festival, a craft beer festival and an international fair, where you can enjoy the atmosphere without worrying about the weather.
Saitama Super Arena – the third largest indoor arena in the world – is also right nearby. The arena hosts a variety of concerts, sports matches and other events throughout the year but stands out most as a venue for pro-wrestling and MMA tournaments.