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.
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!
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!
Kurazukuri Zone (Old Storehouse Zone)
- Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City, Saitama[MAP]
Once you’ve enjoyed all Kawagoe has to offer, it’s time to move on by train.
- Going from JR Kawagoe Station to JR Omiya Station takes about 22 minutes.
- At Omiya Station we’ll transfer to Saitama New Urban Transit’s New Shuttle, heading to The Railway Museum Station (about 2 minutes).
- 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.
*Free shuttle bus available from Omiya Sta.
Basic information on ofuro café utatane
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!
Basic information on THE RAILWAY MUSEUM
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.
Basic information on The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama
- 2-24-3 Toro-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
- Business Hours
- Nov.-Feb.: 9:00am-4:00pm, Mar.-Oct.: 9:00am-4:30pm (Last admission 30 min. before closing)
- Thu. (Open if Thu. is a public holiday), end-of-year and New Year holidays, sometimes temporarily closed
- ¥300 (Adult)
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.
Basic information on Omiya Bonsai Village
- Whole stretch across Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama[MAP]
- Business Hours
- Vary by bonsai garden
- 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.
Basic information on Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine
After visiting the shrine, we then walk to Omiya-koen Station to take a train.
- From Omiya-koen Station, take the Tobu Urban Park Line to Omiya Station (about 4 minutes).
- At Omiya Station, change lines to the JR Keihin Tohoku Line, and continue on until Saitama-Shintoshin Station (about 2 minutes).
- 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.
Basic information on Japan Mint Museum of Saitama Branch
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.
Basic information on COCOON CITY Saitama-Shintoshin
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!