Spectacles of Saitama: 4 Spots to Feel Saitama's Culture and Nature

Located directly northwest of Tokyo, Saitama is often confused with simply being a part of Tokyo, but it’s a city of its own, offering all sorts of exciting locations, attractions and activities. Today we’d love to share a few of those places with you! First, we’ll take you downtown to the largest flood water diversion facility in the world. Then, out to the countryside where cooler, slower waters nurture one of Japan’s older and more aesthetic arts. And no list of attractions is complete without food, so we’ve included two!

●Higashimatsuyama: YAKITORI
Prepare yourself for the uncommon as you bite into the famous Higashimatsuyama Yakitori, or Japanese style skewered chicken! Typically involving meat - usually chicken - and skewered with a kushi, a skewer made of steel, bamboo, etc., they are grilled over a charcoal fire and seasoned with a sweet tare sauce or salt.

Higashimatsuyama Yakitori shakes things up a bit, using pork kashira, meat found around the cheeks and temples, instead of chicken, and flavored with a spicy miso sauce. This delicacy has its roots in the harsh postwar era, as pork was relatively inexpensive, and it is said that people who migrated to Japan from Korea created the original version. Indeed, the taste is quite similar to Korean food. These days, DOZENS of yakitori shops dot the map in Higashimatsuyama, each shop boasting its own unique flavor. Often served with sweet green onions and grilled to a slight char, you’re sure to enjoy this popular cuisine with local beers and sake!

●Fuubu・Kobayashi: MIKAN
In the Fuubu・Ohayashi area, you will find 20 mandarin orange farms, all offering deliciously juicy citrus fruit with a wonderful balance of sweetness and sourness. And for 600 yen, you can enter any one of the mikan farms, pluck the fruit right from the tree and eat to your heart’s content! Then, when you’ve had your fill, you can stuff a bag full of even MORE of the tasty oranges and take them home as a souvenir! But of course, we think nothing beats eating them fresh off the tree!

●Kasukabe: Metropolitan Area Outer Floodway
Beneath your feet, more than 100 steps down, you will find the most amazing site! Often used as a shooting location for tv shows, movies and music videos, this “Underground Disaster Prevention Temple” is actually an enormous pressure controlled water tank that helps weaken the momentum of water, and to reduce the frequency and negative impact of flooding during rain and typhoon seasons. Even the giant pillars you see in the photo play an important role. Besides holding the ceiling up, these massive columns which number nearly 60 keep the tank from floating up!

Come tour this subterranean spectacle in one of three different courses! Each course focuses on a different aspect of the underground flood water diversion facility - the world’s largest of its kind - so be sure to check the course contents out ahead of time. Explore this awesome man made cavern capable of funneling out 200 tons of water PER SECOND!!! into the Edo River!
And although the tours are conducted in Japanese, you can download an app for English and Chinese language support. Check it out here!

Google play:

Apple Store:

●Ogawamachi: Washi Workshop: A work of art borne from the harsh cold and pure water

With a name synonymous with washi, or Japanese paper, the paper produced in the Ogawa area has a unique, warm texture, and has brought happiness and colorful additions to the lives of people for more than 1300 years. Visit Ogawa-cho for unexpected discoveries and fun as you find some colorful additions to your life!
Come to Ogawa Town and witness first hand the long cultivated traditions that are still alive. Here, in a basin surrounded by lush mountains, the clear waters of the Tsukikawa and Kabuto Rivers flow, giving life to washi, and thereby to the people in the area. Visit the Ogawa Town Washi Experience Learning Center where you can experience the history and tradition yourself!
Washi has become a popular souvenir for tourists and fans of fine stationeries. But the washi production process is so particular that it is recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage asset. At a local road-side station, or michi-no-eki, you can either purchase some washi as a souvenir, or participate in a washi workshop, and create your own postcards that can be sent to you (within Japan) after they have dried.

Make sure Saitama Prefecture is on the itinerary for your next visit to Japan! There are so many places to visit and so much to see!
Visit Chokotabi Saitama website to read more articles about Saitama. In addition to the topics we covered here, you'll find more about:

・Theme parks:

・Food and drink:

・Flower spots:

・Cherry blossom spots:


・Superb views:

・Traditional culture:



・Saitama City:

・Old highway of Saitama:

Which places were most attractive to you? Where will you go first?

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor


DeepJapan Editor's other advice

Sensoji Temple- A half day history tour images

Sensoji Temple- A half day history tour

I was looking for a great place to experience some Japanese history for a few hours without trekking all the way to Kamakura or Kyoto so I decided to stay in Tokyo and head over to Sensoji Temple, ot…

Nikko to Tokyo - Half the fun is getting there images

Nikko to Tokyo - Half the fun is getting there

I was traveling in Nikko and heading back to Tokyo to Asakusa for some sightseeing and an overnight stay. I decided to take the scenic route and hopped on the SL train out of Nikko Station. Outside t…

Takatsue Winter Wonderland One-night Onsen Trip images

Takatsue Winter Wonderland One-night Onsen Trip

I wanted a quick overnight getaway from Tokyo to experience some nature instead of heading to crowded tourist areas. Takatsue Ski resort in Fukushima is relatively close to Tokyo, only about 170 minu…

Charming transport / traditional village and onsen one-night trip. images

Charming transport / traditional village and onsen one-night trip.

I wanted to see one of the largest castles in eastern Japan so I headed for Tsurugajo castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu City from my ryoukan on the tour bus. The castle was built about 600 years ago and was i…

Samurai Spirit images

Samurai Spirit

I always wanted to explore Fukushima so I headed north from Tokyo station for a short ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen Toward Koriyama station. It's only about an hour and half. and is a great way to en…

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 2 images

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 2

I woke up early to the sound of the rushing river below and the view of the snow covered mountain, had some Japanese tea while enjoying the scenery for awhile and then went down for breakfast. I arri…

You might also like

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji? images

Why Do Japanese People Call Mt. Fuji, Mr. Fuji?

If you wondered why Japanese people refer to Mt. Fuji as Mr. Fuji, you are not alone.When I first came to Japan, and actually until about two years ago, well okay, actually it still happens a lot…


5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore images

5 Traditional Japanese Villages to Explore

The rural area of Japan is quite worth an exploration. Many villages in Japan have typical Japanese styles. Although they are quite far away from big cities, you can enjoy enchanting natural views an…

Alexlovetravel image


The interesting relationship between Japanese culture and sweet, delicious strawberries images

The interesting relationship between Japanese culture and sweet, delicious strawberries

Strawberries are one of the many fruits produced all over the world. Strawberries are also produced in Japan, and Japanese strawberries tend to be very sweet and it is possible to eat them raw. One s…

DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor

Difference of IKEBANA and Western floral arrangement? images

Difference of IKEBANA and Western floral arrangement?

When I traveled foreign countries, I found some different customs, cultures, and ideas. It is all new to me and leads me more eager to know its deep culture. I will be frequently asked the differ…

Ami image


"Little Forest" Shows you the Japan Heartland images

"Little Forest" Shows you the Japan Heartland

Thats right! I am not 12 years old. I actually have lived half a century as of this year.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_CUp9suEeoMaybe that is exactly why I love Pixar films that show the …


Enospa Sojourn Part 3: “The true meaning of massage and Enoshima Island Spa Bengteng Spa” images

Enospa Sojourn Part 3: “The true meaning of massage and Enoshima Island Spa Bengteng Spa”

... My partner chose to experience the Signature Massage" (see Enospa Sojourn Part 2) ... I went for the 40 minute massage which focuses on the feet mostly going as far as the knees. This was a real …

Andrew Grimes image

Andrew Grimes