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Great Access from Tokyo! Let’s Visit Saitama City’s Many Sightseeing Locations!

Saitama Prefecture is adjacent to the north side of Tokyo. One of Saitama Prefecture’s major cities is “Saitama City,” located about 30 minutes by train from the heart of Tokyo. The city also features various modes of public transit, such as the Shinkansen and regular trains, making it a convenient hub for travel. Additionally, Saitama City is packed with popular tourist spots, such as Japan’s world-renowned railway museum, Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, and huge shopping centers! This article will introduce a sightseeing plan that will let you enjoy the up-and-coming Saitama City to the fullest, as well as information on accessing the area from Tokyo.

Enjoy Japan to the fullest in Saitama City, located conveniently close to Tokyo!
Enjoy Japan to the fullest in Saitama City, located conveniently close to Tokyo!

Saitama City Model Route for 2 Days and 1 Night

Saitama City is a great place to go and stretch your legs between bouts of sightseeing in Tokyo. Additionally, Kawagoe, where the old warehouse-style buildings still line the streets, is located right next to Saitama City, so you can enjoy both locations in one go. Enjoy this 2-day-1-night model route for sightseeing in the area!

Day 1

Our day starts at Kawagoe, located about 30 minutes by train from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo!

1) Koedo Kawagoe

First off, let’s start our trip with a stroll through the sentimental warehouse-lined streets of Kawagoe. Enjoy your day with gourmet foods and fun souvenirs!

Koedo Kawagoe’s streets are lined with old warehouse buildings
Koedo Kawagoe’s streets are lined with old warehouse buildings
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Kurazukuri Zone (Old Storehouse Zone)

Address
Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City, Saitama[MAP]

Once you’ve enjoyed all Kawagoe has to offer, it’s time to move on by train.

  1. Going from JR Kawagoe Station to JR Omiya Station takes about 22 minutes.
  2. At Omiya Station we’ll transfer to Saitama New Urban Transit’s New Shuttle, heading to The Railway Museum Station (about 2 minutes).
  3. After about a 10-minute walk from The Railway Museum Station, we’ll arrive at our next destination, “ofuro café utatane.”

2) ofuro café utatane

Our accommodations for the night are here at “ofuro café utatane.” Not only do they have baths, but they also have a chic café. Slowly soak in the hot water of the large main bath or the open-air bath, then spend the rest of your time leisurely in the relaxing space.

Relax and warm yourself by the fireplace in the lounge
Relax and warm yourself by the fireplace in the lounge
Soak away your tiredness in the roomy public baths
Soak away your tiredness in the roomy public baths
Relax in the rooms, filled with soft indirect lights and beautiful wood-grained finishes
Relax in the rooms, filled with soft indirect lights and beautiful wood-grained finishes

*Free shuttle bus available from Omiya Sta.

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Basic information on ofuro café utatane

Address
4-179-3 Onari-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-856-9899
Business Hours
10:00am-9:00am of the following day, Check-in: 6:00pm, Check-out: 10:00am
Price
From ¥6,000/night
Accepted credit cards
American Express / JCB / MasterCard / Visa
WEB
URL(English)

Day 2

Day 2 starts at “THE RAILWAY MUSEUM,” located about a 10-minute walk from “ofuro café utatane”!

3) THE RAILWAY MUSEUM

This museum is a great place to learn everything there is to know about railways through displays featuring real train cars and simulated riding experiences. You can also find original merchandise here that you won’t find anywhere else. The model railway diorama, one of the largest in Japan, is another must-see!

A phenomenal display of real train cars
A phenomenal display of real train cars
Display of mock Tohoku Shinkansen E5-series trains
Display of mock Tohoku Shinkansen E5-series trains
The museum offers a variety of original railway goods!
The museum offers a variety of original railway goods!
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Basic information on THE RAILWAY MUSEUM

Address
3-47 Onari-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-651-0088
Business Hours
10:00am-6:00pm (Admission until 5:30pm)
Closed
Tue., end-of year and New Year holidays
Admission
¥1,300 (Adult)
WEB
URL(Japanese)

After enjoying our trip to “THE RAILWAY MUSEUM,” it’s time to visit the world-famous “Omiya Bonsai Art Museum” in Saitama. It’s located about 10 minutes by taxi from the railway museum.

4) The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama

This is the world’s first public bonsai art museum. In addition to its famous bonsai works, this museum also displays bonsai pots, viewing stones, and Japanese woodblock prints that feature bonsai.

Look out over the bonsai garden from the museum’s second-floor terrace
Look out over the bonsai garden from the museum’s second-floor terrace
Bonsai-themed hand towels are a popular souvenir
Bonsai-themed hand towels are a popular souvenir
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Basic information on The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama

Address
2-24-3 Toro-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-780-2091
Business Hours
Nov.-Feb.: 9:00am-4:00pm, Mar.-Oct.: 9:00am-4:30pm (Last admission 30 min. before closing)
Closed
Thu. (Open if Thu. is a public holiday), end-of-year and New Year holidays, sometimes temporarily closed
Admission
¥300 (Adult)
WEB
URL(English)

After “The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum,” our next stop is “Omiya Bonsai Village,” located about a 5-minute walk from the museum.

5) Omiya Bonsai Village

This is an area dotted with six different bonsai gardens. Each garden is carefully maintained and has its own unique characteristics, and this village is also known as a sacred place where famous bonsai works are gathered together. Every year from May 3rd through 5th the village holds the “Dai Bonsai Festival,” where bonsai exhibits are put up and potted bonsai are up for sale.

The narrow paths are lined with unique and beautiful bonsai
The narrow paths are lined with unique and beautiful bonsai
Enjoy the beautiful bonsai up close
Enjoy the beautiful bonsai up close
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Basic information on Omiya Bonsai Village

Address
Whole stretch across Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Business Hours
Vary by bonsai garden
Closed
Varies by bonsai garden

After appreciating the beautiful bonsai, we move on to “Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine,” about 10 minutes away on foot.

6) Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine

This ancient shrine is said to have over 2,000 years of history. Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine is the head shrine of the Kanto region’s Hikawa shrine group, which includes Kawagoe’s Hikawa Shrine, and it has a beautiful and majestic atmosphere.

Beautiful vermillion tower gate
Beautiful vermillion tower gate
Beautiful Japanese zelkova trees line both sides of this approximately 2 kilometer long path leading to the shrine
Beautiful Japanese zelkova trees line both sides of this approximately 2 kilometer long path leading to the shrine
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Basic information on Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine

Address
1-407 Takahana-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-641-0137
WEB
URL(Japanese)

After visiting the shrine, we then walk to Omiya-koen Station to take a train.

  1. From Omiya-koen Station, take the Tobu Urban Park Line to Omiya Station (about 4 minutes).
  2. At Omiya Station, change lines to the JR Keihin Tohoku Line, and continue on until Saitama-Shintoshin Station (about 2 minutes).
  3. After walking about 9 minutes from Saitama-Shintoshin Station, we’ll arrive at our next stop, “Japan Mint Museum of Saitama Branch”!

7) Japan Mint Museum of Saitama Branch

This museum displays commemorative and antique coins, medals, Olympic medals from when Japan hosted the games, and more. You can also watch the manufacturing process used for making coins and medals.

The museum displays feature valuable currency and medals
The museum displays feature valuable currency and medals
You’ll also find old Japanese currencies like those you’d see in period dramas and movies
You’ll also find old Japanese currencies like those you’d see in period dramas and movies
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Basic information on Japan Mint Museum of Saitama Branch

Address
1-190-22 Kitabukuro-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-645-5899
Business Hours
9:00am-4:30pm (Admission until 4:00pm)
Closed
End-of-year and New Year holidays, sometimes temporarily closed
※Manufacturing tour is available on weekdays only.
Admission
Free
WEB
URL(English)

After enjoying the “Japan Mint Museum of Saitama Branch,” our next stop is “COCOON CITY Saitama-Shintoshin,” about a 10-minute walk away. Time to go shopping at this large shopping center!

8) COCOON CITY Saitama-Shintoshin

Around 280 shops are gathered together in this large-scale commercial facility and shopping mall. You’re sure to find anything you need here, from souvenirs to items for personal use. There are also cafes and restaurants inside, so it’s a great place to take a break.

COCOON CITY is connected directly to Saitama-Shintoshin Station!
COCOON CITY is connected directly to Saitama-Shintoshin Station!
Relax and take your time shopping!
Relax and take your time shopping!
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Basic information on COCOON CITY Saitama-Shintoshin

Address
4-263-1 Kishiki-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
Tel
048-601-5050
Business Hours
Shopping: 10:00am-9:00pm, Restaurants: 11:00am-11:00pm *Vary by shop
Closed
Open 365 days
Accepted credit cards
American Express / Diners / JCB / MasterCard / Visa
WEB
URL(Japanese)

After you’ve finished shopping, it’s time to head back to Tokyo.
It takes about a 30-minute train ride, no line changes, to get from Saitama-Shintoshin Station to Tokyo Station.

9) Tokyo Station

Tokyo and Saitama City are so close together that it’s easy to travel between them, so it’s very convenient for sightseeing!
You can also take your time and enjoy this sightseeing plan over 3 days 2 nights if that fits your schedule better!

Access to Omiya Station from Tokyo

It’s quick and easy to reach Omiya Station, the main station in Saitama City, from Tokyo!
The following are routes between Tokyo’s main station and Omiya Station.

  • Tokyo Station ⇔ Omiya Station (about 32 minutes on the JR Ueno-Tokyo Line)
  • Shinjuku Station ⇔ Omiya Station (about 30 minutes on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line)
  • Shibuya Station ⇔ Omiya Station (about 35 minutes on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line)
  • Ikebukuro Station ⇔ Omiya Station (about 24 minutes on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line)

It’s super convenient to be able to travel from Tokyo’s main stations without having to change lines!

Sightseeing Information for Saitama City

Tourist Information Center

Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau