Category Archives: free but fun

Fireworks and Festivals In Saitama August 6th 2016

This weekend we are once again spoiled for choice with the quantity and variety of festivals and fireworks being held in various locations in Saitama. Here is a small sample of the festivals and fireworks on offer on SATURDAY the 6th of August. We have everything from super size fireworks to smaller local affairs. From mammoth crowd-drawing festivals to traditional lower key ritual celebrations.  Wherever you go, do plan for crowds, heat and fun galore!

Todabashi Fireworks





Todabashi fireworks are one of the biggest in Saitama. Approximately 12,000 fireworks are launched including starmines and shakudama. The displays are set to music. They normally have fireworks that explode into the face of a famous character. Last year, it was some Yokai Watch characters. The fireworks are launched near Toda’s race course with prime viewing along the riverside. You can walk from Toda Park station. The Itabashi Fireworks are held in conjunction with Todabashi. They estimate 52,000 spectators view on the Itabashi side and 42,000 on the Toda side. You can reserve a viewing spot at a price on the official website (below).  Queries to  Todabashi Firework Committee at 048-431-0206

Time: 7 to 8.30 pm
Access: Approximately a 20 minute walk from Takasaki Line JR Toda Koen station
URL:  www.todabashi-hanabi.jp.

 Sayama City Irumagawa Tanabata Festival & Fireworks

From the official website http://www.city.sayama.saitama.jp/manabu/mainevent/tanabata/




Listed in the top 3 Tanabata (Star) festivals for the whole of Kanto, this two day festival draws approximately 130,000 people annually. The city displays 140 tanabata decorations such as streamers and other paper decorations. There are about 300 stalls at the festival offering food, drink or traditional games such as the beloved “fishing” game, where you get to keep any fish you catch with a small net.They will also have some fireworks on the night of the 6th.

Time: 11 am to 9.30 pm, fireworks from 7.30 pm
Access: Minutes walk from Seibu Shinjuku Line Sayama shi station
URL: http://www.city.sayama.saitama.jp/manabu/mainevent/tanabata/

 

Sai-ka-sai Festival and Fireworks (in Asaka)

From the official website: http://saikasai.com/

Due to all this festival has to offer, plus its proximity to Tokyo, as well as the central location near Asaka station, this 3 day festival is one of the biggest of Saitama summer festivals. It attracts about 650,000 people and it gets great reviews from local and regular attendees.  On the 2nd night, this year the 6th of August, about 9000 fireworks are launched from 19.15 and there are 300+ stalls offering festival  food and/or activities. They open a stadium before the fireworks so it is possible for everyone to get somewhere to sit and enjoy the show.

T
ime: The festival is from about noon and the fireworks from 19.15
Access: 5 minute walk from Tobu Tojo Line Asaka Station
URL: information in English at the official website: http://saikasai.com/wp-content/pdf/saikasai_en.pdf . Japanese information here: http://saikasai.com/

 

 Yorii Tamayodo Suitenguusai Fireworks and Festival






Behold the spectacular setting of lantern floats with the magnificent backdrop of fireworks in this traditional festival that attracts about 70,000 people. There are about 5000 fireworks launched including the Niagara type and starmines.  You can buy festival food and drinks as there are about 80 stalls in the main viewing area.  There is parking for up to 2000 cars, some of which is free, but you would want to arrive early to secure a place.  It can be quite muddy, so appropriate footwear is advised.

Time: 7 to 9 pm
Access: About a 15 minute walk from Hachiko Line Yorii Station, 5 kms from Hanazono Interchange
URL: http://yorii-kanko.jp/tamayodo.html

Seibu Yuenchi Fireworks and Festival

The Seibu Amusement park fireworks and special celebrations start this month of August. Most weekends you can enjoy a firework show as a paying customer of the amusement park. The beer garden is a popular spot for a good view. You can also see the fireworks from some nearby locations around the park! Although the shows are usually only 20 minutes each, they are very popular and the park can be very crowded during August.

Time: from approximately 7.45 pm
Access: 5 minute walk from Seibu Tamako Line Seibu Yuenchi Station and Seibu Line Seibuen Station.
URL: http://www.seibuen-yuuenchi.jp/

 

Soka Fireworks

Soka locals volunteer and band together to bring you this small, but popular fireworks in Soka Park. About 5000 fireworks, including starmines, are launched between 19.00 and 21.00. Last year about 80,000 people attended. Queries to the voluntary team at 048-922-0151.

Time: 7 pm to 9pm, Opening ceremony at 6 pm
Access: 30 minute walk from JR Koshigaya Laketown Station or take a bus from Tobu Line Matsubara Danchi station
URL:  http://www.city.soka.saitama.jp/cont/s1401/a16/PAGE000000000000030153.html

Menuma Festival in Kumagaya

This child friendly festival has lots of traditional activities and festival food for people of all ages. Last year, apart from music and performances there was a bazaar and Flea market as well as kid’s show and Jyankan competition.

Time: 1 pm to 9 pm
Access: Asahi bus from Kumagaya station, but there is also free parking for 50 cars
URL:  http://www.city.kumagaya.lg.jp/kanko/matsuri/menumamaturi.html

Hanno Fireworks

A small display of fireworks set to the background of trees. These fireworks are popular with local families. Last year about 5000 people spectated near the Iruma River.   Queries to Hanno’s Tourist Board at 042-974-7900.

Time: From about 7.30pm
Access: About a 15 minute walk from Hanno Station
URL: http://www.city.hanno.saitama.jp/0000001569.html

Furutonegawa Floating Lantern Festival

Between 200 and 300 floating lanterns are sent down Furutonegawa river, including Japan’s largest lantern, during this traditional festival in Sugito Town.  There are stage performances over the weekend. Last year the Hanabi were on the Saturday, please note this year they are on the Sunday.

Time: 6 to 9 pm on the Saturday
Access: 2 minute walk from the East exit of the Tobu Dobutsu Koen station
URL: http://www.town.sugito.lg.jp/doc_lib/1/15080/2016%E6%B5%81%E7%81%AF%E3%81%BE%E3%81%A4%E3%82%8A%E3%83%9D%E3%82%B9%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BC.pdf



Also near the Tobu Doubutsu Koen Station is

Fireworks Illusion

From the Tobu Zoo official website

This event will not be carried out in the event of rain. There will be 4 firework displays in total in the Tobu Zoo over the month of August. 2000 fireworks, including starmines and the niagra type, are launched There is usually about 10 festival stalls.

Time: from 7.30pm
Access: About a 10 minute walk from Tobu Skytree Line Tobu Doubutsu Kouen Station
URL: http://www.tobuzoo.com/event/details/1118/

Apart from the fireworks and festivals on Saturday the 7th, there are also a number of special events on in Saitama. One of our picks is the night zoo at Saitama Children’s Zoo which is only open for 6 nights in August. You can see the dates and more events on the insaitama calendar.





A preview of Festivals on Sunday the 7th…

Suneori Amagoi Rain praying (Dragon) Festival

From Saitama's official tourism website http://www.sainokuni-kanko.jp/eng/
From Saitama’s official tourism website http://www.sainokuni-kanko.jp/eng/

Please see full  information here:
Award Winning, Intangible Asset Suneori Amagoi Rain Praying Festival | TSURUGASHIMA

Tatara Festival and Fireworks | KAWAGUCHI
Information to follow

Award Winning, Intangible Asset “Suneori Amagoi”, Rain Praying Festival | TSURUGASHIMA

The Suneori Amagoi Rain Praying Festival, which started in 1781, has been awarded a number of cultural and festival accolades. The awards include the prestigious and coveted city designated intangible folk cultural asset and equally distinguished grand prize for the best hometown events, both awarded by the Japanese Government. In recent years, the festival is only conducted once every four years due to a decline in the number of farmers. The next one is this coming Sunday August 7th 2016 from 1 pm and will be carried out regardless of weather conditions.

 

Suneoriamagoi, From the Tsurugashima City Official Website


The festival involves 300 men carrying a 36 metre long 3 ton giant dragon God made of bamboo and straw 2 kilometres to a lake in Tsurugashima’s Kandachiga pond, where the ritual for rain is conducted. The 300 dragon bearers wear traditional Japanese happi coats. The dragon is made from scratch for each festival, as at the end of the rain ritual in the pond, the dragon is destroyed to incite the God’s anger to evoke thunderstorms, hence rain. You can read more about the history and meaning of this unique festival in detail, in English, on the Tsurugashima City website. The Saitama Tourism website, Sai-no-kuni Kanko, anticipates 30,000 people will attend this coming Sunday.  Coinciding with this rare and fascinating festival is an International Exchange Fair at Wakaba Station, the station you use to get to Suneori Amagoi Festival, from 10 am to 8 pm on Sunday.

From the official Saitama Prefecture Tourism website http://www.sainokuni-kanko.jp/eng/
From the official Saitama Prefecture Tourism website http://www.sainokuni-kanko.jp/eng/

 

Suneori Amagoi Festival Information

Time: 1 pm to 5 pm
Where: Area from Shirahige Shrine to Kandachiga Pond, Tsurugashima City, Saitama
Access: Approximately 43 minutes from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo. 15 minute walk from Tobu Tojo Line Wakaba Station. See maps and access photos below

If you can’t make the festival this year, don’t worry – you can watch it live on http://www.ustream.tv/channnel/tsurugashimacity-tv

The next festival after August 7th 2016 will luckily coincide with the 2020 Olympics. The festival is usually held on the 1st Sunday of August, but due to the olympics there maybe changes. I will update nearer the time. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Golf Events are being held at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in the nearby city of Kawagoe. If golf contestants or spectators want to enjoy a quintessential yet extraordinary Japanese festival this is one to bookmark for your trip to Japan. More on Golf In Saitama: Golf in Japan :: Courses in Saitama

If you understand Japanese, here is a video about the festival and its background. Below that is a nice piece with English subtitles.





ACCESS

Access guide to Tsurugashima from the Tsurugashima Official Website:

From the official Tsurugashima website

On Google Maps

 

insaitama.com is a non-profit blog. I write to share information with foreigners that don’t read Japanese and might not otherwise know all the great things Saitama prefecture has to offer. I respectfully ask that if you are using or sharing this information, that you please quote the source. Thank you. The adverts that appear on these posts are placed in the hope that one day they might cover the cost of self-hosting a website, but they currently do not generate revenue.

Attractions in Tokyo that have FREE entry days during Golden Week

On Children’s Day, May 5th, a lot of zoos, parks and museums throughout Japan are free in for children. Apart from that day, there are other days in Golden Week that some places offer free entry for all visitors. Here is a list of some of the places in the Tokyo area, with the free entry dates specified. These are free in for all visitors unless otherwise stated. The links provided are to the English webpages of official sites, with the exception of Yumenoshima park which is in Japanese.
**Copyright ©2016 Insaitama.com **

NHK Studio Park  NHKスタジオパーク

Free for the whole of Golden Week, April 29th to May 5th.
http://www.nhk.or.jp/studiopark/guide/pamphlet/stp_pamph_en.pdf

 

Showa Memorial Park  昭和記念公園

Free entry on April 29th, May 5th and May 15th for children under 16.
http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/html/english/

 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden  新宿御苑

Free entry on April 29th, May 4th and May 5th for children under 16.
http://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html

Inokashira Park

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Tama Zoo

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Ueno Zoo

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Gardens of the former residence of Iwasaki  旧岩崎邸庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-iwasaki/index.html

Gardens of the former residence of Furukawa 旧古河庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/outline.html

Kiyosumi Gardens  清澄庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kiyosumi/index.html

Yumenoshima Park  夢の島熱帯植物館

Free entry on May 4th.
(Japanese only) http://www.yumenoshima.jp/index.html

The Shiba Detached Palace Garden 旧芝離宮恩賜庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-shiba/outline.html

Jindai Botanical Gardens  神代植物公園

Free entry on May 4th.
https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_03.html#jindaibotanical

Mukojima Hyakka Flower Garden  向島百科園

Free entry May 4th.
https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_07.html#mukojimahyakkaen

 

 

 

 

 

Kamiya Park Play&Sports ground + Skateboarding | Kounosu

Ever wondered where you can skateboard legally and safely in Saitama? One place I know of is Kamiya Park in Kounosu, which has a designated skateboard park. This multi-use park has a number of sporting facilities, it even has a stadium. The best part: it also has a brand new playground and a wading river which are almost completed. Although, the park is still under construction you can use the playground freely.

The skateboarding area costs money, but for residents of Kounosu it is only 200 yen for school aged children and adults and 100 yen for preschoolers. For people who do not reside in Kounosu it costs 400 yen for adults and students and 200 yen for preschoolers. They have skateboards and helmets to rent for an additional charge. They have skateboard lessons available too. It is open from 8am all year round (except New Years holidays) until 4pm in the winter and until 6pm in the summer.  The official website for the skate park (Japanese only): http://kamiyaskatepark.com/

Other sporting facilities in the park include a stadium, baseball pitch, tennis courts, a soccer pitch, street basketball court and a multi-purpose ground. The baseball pitch, soccer pitch, multi-purpose ground and tennis courts need to be booked and there is a small fee. General facilities include a club house,  free parking, walking paths, a lawn, toilets,  vending machines, a wading river and a playground. The playground is beside the skate park and wading river.

The playground is suited to smaller children. There is something in the playground to engage my younger kids aged 5, 3 and 1. However, although my 6 year old enjoyed it the first and only time he has been, I am not sure he would find the playground as enjoyable a second time. It is best suited to preschoolers.

Information

Park Website: (Japanese only) http://www.kamiya-sk.ecnet.jp/index.html#
Skatepark Website: (Japanese only) http://kamiyaskatepark.com/

Access
Address: 707 Kamiya, Kounosu, Saitama 365-0027

Nogeyama Zoo | Free Yokohama

There is a really great free zoo in Yokohama near Hinodecho Station. Despite being free it is a decent sized zoo with a great selection of animals. The thing I liked best about it is that they have designed it in such a way that during visiting hours the animals are up close and visible even to the smallest of children.  Saitama has a number of free zoos too, but it is much larger with a better choice of animals than both the free and low cost zoo areas here (Kitamoto, Maruyama, Omiya, Chikozan).

KIMG8127

The place was crowded understandably, and according to Google reviews, even on a weekday it is quite busy. The zoo has been around a long time and was the first zoo in Japan to enjoy success in housing a number of foreign animals including leopards, sloth bear and lemurs. They still have the latter (lemurs) but currently there are no sloth bears or leopards. They do have other bears, and a lion and tiger. You can see them up close and personal. They have a fantastic petting area where you can meet, touch and hold a variety of small animals such as mice, guinea pigs, chickens and snakes. Beside that area they have a few penguins with low barriers for easy viewing. They currently have a good selection of monkeys. The red pandas are supposedly the most popular especially at feeding time. In total there are about 1500 animals of 100 different species. They have a list of all animals on their website.

 

 
The zoo is quite hilly, but there are ramps that people with strollers can use. I sometimes had to go around a longer way due to the buggy, but I didn’t find it hard to navigate and it was only a minor problem. There are plenty of toilets, one of which is a family toilet with a child’s toilet, urinal, changing area and regular toilet. There are rest areas and drink and food vending machines. There are some fun areas within the zoo for kids, such as the old train that is turned into a rest area or the old polar bear enclosure which kids can explore.

KIMG8138

 

INFORMATION

Opening hours: 9.30am to 4pm. CLOSED ON MONDAYS

URL: http://www2.nogeyama-zoo.org/
English: http://www2.nogeyama-zoo.org/english/

Address: 63-10 Oimatsu Cho, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-0032
Tel: 045-231-1307

Access: About 10 minutes walk from Hinodecho Station on the Keikyu line or about 15 minutes walk from Sakuragi cho on the JR Negishi Line.

Make your own POCKY at Free Factory Tour | Glico Pia East

Glico Pia East Factory Tour Pocky (13)Chances are, if you live in Saitama, you have heard about the famous Glico Pia East factory tour, aka the Pocky tour. It remains top of the list of free factory tours in Saitama (2015, down to #2 in 2017) and one of the best for the whole Kanto region (Greater Tokyo area). Due to its popularity, it is still necessary to book in advance, but the good news is that the wait has been reduced from a year to a few months. We were able to get a booking 4 months in advance.

 

It was on my wish list since it opened its doors in 2012, but I was advised to wait until the kids were in primary school to go. In 2015, I just couldn’t wait any longer so I booked it for the whole family. At the time the kids were 5, 4, 2 and 0! (We visited again during Spring Break 2017). Much to my delight, everyone, myself included, enjoyed the tour much more than we thought we would. The tour is 70 minutes long and includes a brief video, museum tour, tour of 2 lines of products and an interactive quiz game in a futuristic gaming room. In fact, the whole tour building has a futuristic feel.



Apart from the short video at the start, the kids were completely intrigued by the tour. In the museum they have a display of 1,500 mini toys that used to be given with one of their products. They also have an old-fashioned vending machine, which my son was chosen to try out with an old 5 yen coin that is no longer in circulation. In that area of the museum they have the brand symbol of the running man, synonymous with “that” billboard in Osaka which is somewhat of a tourist attraction these days! The beautifully presented tour guides explain each element in detail and allocate time for taking photos. There are some parts of the tour where photos are not allowed, which they inform you of. The tour is in Japanese, but the whole tour is quite visual so I would not say it is essential to completely understand the language. (Japanese is required to book the tour).  After the museum tour you move onto the factory element, where they show you two different line productions of Glico products. Following that you are led to the gaming room, where pairs sit at a table with buzzers of different colours representing different answers in an a, b or c type interactive game. The kids really loved that.

After the interactive quiz the free part of the tour is over. You can, however, pay 500 yen per person to enjoy decorating your own giant Pocky. It is important to note that on a very busy day they limit the number of people who can do the make-your-own-Pocky. It is decided at the very start of the tour who gets to do it.  They prioritise primary school students in higher grades. We were very lucky that our 5, 4 and 2 year old were able to participate on the day we went. They absolutely loved decorating their own giant-sized Pocky and it was definitely the highlight of the morning for them.  You are given a box to place your Pocky to take home and a bag of goodies with Glico products and inflatable Pocky!

Glico Pia East Factory Tour Pocky (2)

The factory is less than an hour from Tokyo and thanks to the extension of the Ken-O expressway, the factory is very accessible from other prefectures in Kanto too.  It is just 2 kilometres from the Okegawa-Kano exit of the Ken-O expressway. By public transport you can take a 12 minute bus ride bound for Glico Pia East from Kitamoto Station on the JR Takasaki line.

 

INFORMATION

OPEN: Saturday to Thursday (closed on Fridays)

TOUR TIMES: 9.30, 11.00, 12.30, 14.00

BOOKING: 048-593-8811 or online:

URL: https://www.glico.com/jp/enjoy/experience/glicopiaeast

ADDRESS: 〒364-0013 Saitama Prefecture, Kitamoto, 中丸9丁目55

 

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Santa IS coming to Saitama!

Santa Claus IS coming to Saitama. I was beginning to think he wasn’t, but just two minutes ago I found where Santa will visit in Saitama. He is visiting Mallage in Kuki this coming Sunday, the 20th of December.

Mallage are offering customers the chance to get their photo taken with Santa at one of the three allocated time slots. He will visit at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets will be distributed to 100 customers each time, in the first floor “taki no court”. This is a free event. Don’t forget your camera!

Mallage has been around for quite sometime, but it recently added even more shops and services for families. It is also now more accessible thanks to the extension of the Ken-o highway, that opened last month. Parking is plentiful and free. If you have young children they might enjoy the Secret Forest, which features on this blog.

Visit real life scenery from Yama no Susume “Climb of Encouragement” Anime in Hanno, Saitama

In the 20th episode of the second season of the anime Yama no Susume, “Climb of Encouragement“, you can see a beautiful park with quirky buildings, that looks completely fictional. Fortunately, for all of us, it’s an actual park in the rural area of Hanno, right beside Tokyo. The park is called Akebono no Mori or “Akebono’s forest“, but it is also called Moomin Valley due to it’s connection with the Moomin characters. You can find more about that as well as general information about the park here on one of the first posts written in English about the park: http://insaitama.com/moomin-valley-akebono-forest-in-hanno-city/. Here are some scenes from the anime, with a real life photo for comparison.

 

Anime

Real life

 

 

Anime

 Real life

Anime

Real life

 

There are other scenes from the anime within walking distance of Akebono’s Forest.  I even found a map online of the route you can take to see them all.  Unfortunately, it is in Japanese only.

 

 

You can find other scenes with information in English on this blog here: https://ramenshojo.wordpress.com/tag/yama-no-susume/

Don’t forget to check out http://insaitama.com/moomin-valley-akebono-forest-in-hanno-city/ if you want information in English on how to get to Moomin Valley.

(Originally posted on Blogger)

Thanks for viewing, leave a comment if you have the time. 🙂

The Emperor and his gardens!| Tokyo, Japan

I had the great fortune and pleasure to serendipitously see the Emperor and Empress last week. The chances of that happening are almost as slim as winning the lottery. It was night-time and I was stopped from crossing the road by a policeman. I instinctively knew what great fortune I had been bestowed, as I was just at the top of the avenue of Gingko trees in the Koukyogaien National Garden. (Koukyogaien literally means the outer garden of the Imperial Palace).  Subsequently the lights were fixed to red for all approaches and the entourage approached, black cars barely visible except for their gleam, against the dark of night. Just as the Emperor passed me (and I like to think because I was waving like a loon and visibly overcome by emotion) the light was turned on in the car and there in front of me was the Emperor and Empress of Japan in clear view. They were impeccable, splendid, breathtaking…imperial. It was the perfect ending to my day at the Palace.

I had started my morning just as fortuitous, with a welcome and unexpected reunion with an old JET buddy from my days in Ibaraki. I was on my way to the Palace Hotel when a mail came in from my old friend. I had plenty of time to spare before my engagement, so we arranged to meet in the outer gardens of the Imperial Palace for a walk and a catch up. Not expecting to meet anyone before my engagement at the Palace, I had a route planned to do myself before meeting up with my Irish family and friends at the Palace Hotel.  I adjusted it for a walk-and-talk and we only did a small part of the formidable gardens, but it was more impressive than either of us had anticipated.

Walking map of the outer gardens of the Imperial Palace
From Mapple Walking Maps 2016, Print Edition App Copy.

I actually walked in from Sakuradamon station over Iwaida bridge on the side of the Hibiya moat. (The yellow line of the left foreground of the above photo). We caught the gardens at the end of the autumnal colours, but the trees and shrubbery were still magnificently resplendent.

The leisurely walk brought us from the KoukyoGaien National gardens to the Imperial Palace East Gardens, home to the Sannomaru Shozokan, a museum of the Imperial Collections. All are public and FREE. You can check the opening hours and schedule of Sannomaru Shozokan and the Imperial Palace East Gardens here: http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-event/

In the Imperial Palace East Gardens, I was particularly awed by the Ninomaru gardens. Ninomaru was the area of the secondary circle when it was Edo castle. THe area was converted into a spectacular garden. I ran out of time shortly after we arrived in the Ninomaru gardens and it was onto the Palace Hotel for afternoon tea with dear friends and family (possibly another blog entry!). Next year, I will definitely return to finish the full route and take in more of the spectacular Autumn scenery at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Gingko Trees at Ukishima Inari Shrine | Kawagoe

Ukishima Inari Shrine is a little shrine you pass on the walking route from Miyoshino Shrine and Kitain Temple.

 

2 Ukushima 1

The grounds of the shrine have a beautiful water feature and old stone bridge, which unfortunately have been blemished with a vulgar white fence.

Ukushimainari 1
2 Ukushima 2

I have passed it a few times in other seasons and just took a mental note of a playground on the grounds.

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2 Ukushima

 

However, on passing it on my most recent Kawagoe walking tour, the resplendent Gingko Trees brandished their Autumn glory sparking an interest in this rarely mentioned shrine.

Ukushimainari 2

#NaBloPoMo Post #29