Saitama 埼玉

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The city of Saitama, the capital of Saitama Prefecture is just north-west of the capital, Tokyo. Located in the fastest growing of Japan's prefectures, the city was formed in 2001 after the merger of the former cities of Omiya, Urawa and Yono.

  • Nearest Airport

    Narita Airport (NRT) - 1 hour 10 minutes JR and Keisei Line

    Haneda Airport (HND) - Limousine Bus 1 hour 13 minutes

  • Train Stations

    Omiya Station (JR East and Tobu Urban Park Line)

  • Districts

    Omiya - Bonsai Village and Hikawa Shrine

    Urawa - Kenritsu Kindai Museum and many dining options

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Shintoshin East - Saitama City

Shintoshin East - Saitama City

Photo by Gakujin - 自分で撮影, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5592533

 

For many centuries, the Hikawa Shrine was the main Shinto Shrine of Musashino Province, covering most of today's Saitama Prefecture. This is reflected in the full name of the shrine: Musashino Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, which translates as "Number One Shrine in Musashino - Hikawa Shrine".

Hikawa Shrine and the pilgrims it attracted, as well as the location of the shrine on the Nakasendo, a popular inland alternative to the more coastal Tokaido, connecting Kyoto with Edo (the old name for Tokyo), made Omiya a traffic and business hub centuries ago during the Edo period.

Hikawa Shrine - Omiya - Saitama City

Hikawa Shrine - Omiya - Saitama City

Photo by Davidcornish at en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4555620

Omiya Park

The park-like environs of Hikawa Shrine extend into adjacent Omiya Park. The park is certainly worth a stroll.

It features a small Japanese garden, a little zoo, a children's playground and, next to the park's pond, two small eateries.

Except for the Japanese garden, all the park amenities look like straight out of the 1960's.

 

So, if you feel like seeing a still surviving pocket of Japan in the times when the introduction of the first shinkansen was in the news, Omiya Park is a good place to go. The structures there have all the melancholy of washed-out concrete and half-abandoned attractions that time forgot.

White cherry blossoms at Omiya Park

White cherry blossoms at Omiya Park

Photo by Guilhem Vellut - Flickr.com - CC BY 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama

Photo by Guilhem Vellut - Flickr.com - CC BY 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Railway Museum

It's about a 15 minute walk from Bonsai Village to the Omiya Railway Museum - and its worlds apart.At the Railway Museum, Omiya focuses on what it always has been done best - serving as transportation hub - a rail transport hub, in fact, for the past century.

The Railway Museum offers everything a dedicated railway fan can hope for - and more. On the first floor, you find a gigantic display of original historic locomotives and rail carriages, covering the whole time span from early steam locomotives to electrified trains of the 1960's.

Many of the train carriages and some of the locomotives can be entered.

Railway Museum, Saitama City

Railway Museum, Saitama City

Photo By Kanegen - Flickr.com - CC BY 2.0 - CC BY 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Travel to Saitama (through Omiya Station) with a Regional Japan Rail Pass

  • Included : Economic and simpleUnlimited travel

Our tours in Saitama

  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone - Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Tokyo
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3* Hotels & Ryokan, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 12 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Mt Fuji (Kawaguchiko), Osaka, Himeji, Kyoto, Nara
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3* Hotels & Ryokan, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 14 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 21 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka, Kobe, Takachiho, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Miyajima
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 8 days
  • Locations : Tokyo
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels, Non-flight transportation, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
  • Duration : 8 days
  • Locations : Osaka
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels, Non-flight transportation, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
  • Duration : 8 days
  • Locations : Kyoto
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels, Non-flight transportation, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
  • Duration : 9 days
  • Locations : Tokyo,Kyoto
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels, Japan Experience house, Non-flight transportation, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
See all our Tours (37)

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