We stumbled across this park by accident while taking a respite from visiting a relative in nearby Saitama Iriyo Center. Unless you find it by accident as we did, you would need a car and a satnav (GPS) to get to this rural park in Nishi-ku (Saitama). It is a relatively new park, but the access roads are very old and very rural. If you are in the area with young kids, or are looking for a place to barbecue, it is worth a visit.
There are two areas with playground equipment. As you come in to the main parking, in front of the baseball pitch, there is a combination equipment piece with climbing and slides among other things. There are also spring rides. In the picnic area there is another combination unit with climbing and a slide. There is also a sand pit. There are also some net climbing equipment. Near the main parking there is the “Center House” which manages the park. There are meeting rooms there that you can book to use. There are clean toilets there. The barbecue area is very popular. It costs 700 yen to book a pit / seating area for one day. The barbecue area is open for use from April to November. They have a multi-purpose ground, which is marked out for baseball, and a soccer pitch. You can book either of them. The latter costs money.
Parking is free and abundant. It is spread out though. There are a few spots in front of the baseball pitch and front playground, but the main car park is past the pitches. This parking is a bit of a walk to the barbecue area. The car park is open from 9 am to 5.15 pm.
The park is located in Nishi Ward of Saitama City, but it is close to both Ageo and Kawagoe.
On this the 50th anniversary of the Shinkansen (bullet train), I’d like to introduce one of Saitama’s top attractions. Japan’s largest Railway Museum in Omiya, 鉄道博物館 is a really good place to visit with a mixed audience. There really is something for everyone, even if you aren’t “that into” trains. It is particularly a great place for a day out with young children, boys and girls, as there is plenty to do and see. It is commutable from Tokyo, so it appeals to tourists and international families looking for something to do in the Kanto area with kids.
There is so much to say about the Railway museum, I just don’t have the time unfortunately, so this is more of a photo showcase. Please be sure to check out the website. One thing I would like to highlight is, that for those living in Saitama or Tokyo with young children who are into trains, it is really worth buying the annual pass.
URL: http://www.railway-museum.jp/ TEL: 048-651-0088 ACCESS: By train: Take the New Shuttle from JR Omiya Station and get off at “Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station”. One-minute walk from “Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station”. By car:4km from Shintoshin exit of the Shuto Expressway. There are 280 parking spaces. It costs 500 yen to park for the day. COST: 1000 yen for adults, 500 yen for school children, 200 yen for young children, free for children under 3. You can buy an annual pass, Teppa, for unlimited access and other benefits. HOURS: 10am to 6pm, last entry 5.30pm. Closed every Tuesday and from December 29th to January 1st for holidays.
Kids / Play areas
The ground floor has two outdoor areas. The Teppaku Hiroba can be accessed at the back of the history zone. There is also a “lunch train” there; a train that is a rest area, that you are allowed eat food in.
MINI TRAINS and MINI SHINKANSEN
The other outdoor area is to the left of the entrance zone. It boasts the popular mini trains that for 200 yen for upto 3 people, anyone over 6 years of age can operate themselves. You need to arrive early in the morning to book them. There is also a mini shinkansen that you can ride. It goes from outside the entrance zone to the libray and theatre.
LIBRARY, THEATRE and LEGO PLAY AREA
Past the mini trains is a fun area for smaller children, housing the library with books galore about trains. There is a great selection of English books. It also has a theatre which has a couple of showings of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes a day. There is a play area with blocks and a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine play station in this area too.
The “kids space” is a play area for smaller children located in the entrance zone of the 2nd floor. It has rail track and trains for the kids to play with as well as a large plastic train for the kids to play in.
There are learning zones on each floor where there are lots of interactive challenges and experiences for children and adults alike.
The history zone displays a number of period trains including steam trains. You can enter most of these trains to have a better look.
There is also a large model railway train city on display. It can be viewed from the “Kids space” or a special theatre.
There is also a panorama deck on the roof, a shinkansen viewing area on the 3rd floor, where you are allowed eat and there are some vending machines. There are a couple of restaurants within the complex. There are toilets on each floor. Some have nappy change facilities. It is well worth a visit, no matter your age, or interest in trains… I have run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun, but if you would like to see more information or photos, take a look at these great blog posts too:
Omiya park is the most famous park in the Omiya area, but in my humble opinion it is far from the best. The playground isn’t very good and it is located next to coin operated rides. The lesser known Mihashi Sougo Park, 三橋総合公園, is free to play in and has more for active children. It is also easier to navigate.
The park is conveniently located off route 17. It is has plenty of free parking. There is an indoor community pool within the park, as well as other indoor and outdoor sporting facilities. There are 2 playgrounds, a running / cycle track and plenty of open spaces for children to play in.
The main playground boasts lots of different athletic type playground equipment. The main attraction is the ship in the centre of the playground, with its tall and curvy slides. It has a number of different climbing options, as you can see in the photo below.
Other equipment in this playground encourages climbing skills, such as the monkey bars, climbing wall and ropes. There is also a net climbing attraction, which proves very popular, as you can see in the photo below.
There is good shade around the circumference of this playground, as there are lots of trees making it ideal for picnicking in the summer. And by mid afternoon the playground is mostly in the shade. There are also picnic tables dotted throughout the playground. There are vending machines that sell drinks and there is a van that sells pot noodles. 🙂 There are toilets beside the car park, the tennis court and in the sports facility opposite the swimming pool.
Near the tennis courts there is another, smaller playground suited to toddlers and smaller children. It has swings as well as the roller slide pictured.
Another attraction of this park, for my kids anyway, is the abundance of insects. Today, for example, my kids and their friends (who we brought to the park with us), caught over 20 grasshoppers, beetles and crickets. 🙂
Ageo Bus from in front of Risona Bank at the West exit of Ageo Station Time: 19.00-21.00 URL: http://www.ageo-kankou.com/ Phone number for inquires: 048･775･5917
Toda 20 minute walk from Toda Kouen Station Time: 19.00-20.30 URL: http://www.ageo-kankou.com Phone number for inquiries: 048･431･0206
Hanno 20 minute walk from Hanno Station Time: 19.30-20.30 URL: http://www.city.hanno.saitama.jp/0000001569.html Phone number for inquiries: 042･974･7900
Sayama 20 minute walk from the west exit of Sayama City Station Time: 19.30-20.00 URL: http://www.city.sayama.saitama.jp/ TEL: 04-2953-1111
Shiraoka 20 minute walk from the Shiraoka Station (Utsunomiya line) Time: 20.00-20.30 URL: http://www13.ocn.ne.jp/~shiraoka/ TEL: 0480-92-8151
Soka Bus from East exits of Matsubara danchi and Shinden stations TIme: 19.00-21.00 URL: http://www.city.soka.saitama.jp/ TEL: 048-922-0151
Osata Gun, Yorii 10 minute walk from Yorii Station Time: 19.00 – 21.00 URL: http://yorii-kanko.jp/tamayodo.html TEL: 581-2121 Extension 441
Asahi 5 minute walk from (Tobu) Asahi Station. Time: 19.15-20.15 URL: http://saikasai.com/ Phone: 048-463-2645
Kawaguchi Shuttle bus from Kawaguchi Station. Time: 19.45-20.30 URL: http://www.tatara-matsuri.com/ Phone: 048-258-8225
Fukaya 7 minute walk from Takekawa Station on the Chichibu Main Line Time: 17.00-21.30 URL: http://www.fukaya-ta.com/ TEL: 048-583-2222
Kita-Katsushika Gun, Sugito Town 1 minute walk from Tobu Dobutsuen Koen Station (Tobu Zoo) Time: 20.30-21.00 URL: http://kankou.sugito.info/ TEL: 0480-32-3719
Koedo Kawagoe 20 minute walk from Minami Otsuka and Kasahata Stations. Time: 19.15~ URL: http://www.koedo.or.jp/event-info/ Phone number: 049-227-8233
Saitama City, Higashi Urawa Time: 19.30-21.00 URL: http://www.stib.jp/hanabi/index.shtml
Kumagaya 5 minute walk from the south exit of Kumugaya Station (JR Takasaki Line, Chichibu Tetsudo) Time: 19.00~ URL: http://www.kumagaya-kanko.jp/ Phone: 048-524-1111
Iruma 10 minute walk from Bushi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line Time: 20.00-20.30 URL: http://www.iruma-kanko.jp/ TEL: 04-2964-4889 (weekdays only)
Kodama Gun, Misato 20 minute walk from Yodo Station on the JR Hachiko Line Time: 19.30-21.00 URL: http://www.misato-kanko.com/index.html TEL: 0495-76-5133
Chichibu Gun, Nagatoro, Funadama Festival 5 minute walk from Nagatoro Station Time: 19.30-21.00 URL: http://www.nagatoro.gr.jp/en/events/index.html TEL: 0494-66-3311
From the Nagatoro Tourist website
Saitama, Iwatsuki Forty minute walk from Iwatsuki Station Time: 19.30-21.00 URL: http://www.stib.jp/hanabi/index.shtml TEL: 0180-99-3144
Chichibu Gun, Ogano 40 minute bus ride from Chichibu Station Time: 20.00-21.00 URL: http://www.town.ogano.lg.jp/menyu/kankou/maturi/maturi/8tuki/8tuki.html TEL: 0494-75-1381
Misato 10 minutes walk from Misato Station Time: 18.00-21.30 URL: http://www.tonbi.biz/ TEL: 048-952-1231
Higashimatsuyama 15 minute walk from the Takasaka station on the Tobu Tojo Line Time: 19.00-21.00 URL: http://www.city.higashimatsuyama.lg.jp/soshiki/kankyosangyobu/shoko/kanko/event/8/hanabitaikai.html TEL: 0493-21-1427 (weekdays only)
Kita Adachi Gun, Ina Town 8 minute walk from Uchijuku station on the New Shuttle Time: 20.00-21.00 URL: http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/inakanko/ TEL: 048-724-1055
Iruma Gun, Moroyama 25 minute walk from Moroyama Station Time: 19.00-21.00 URL: http://www.moronet.com/ TEL: 049-294-1545
Light Art Healing, Winter Illumination at Cocoon, Saitama Shintoshin
Dates: November 2nd 2013 to February 14th 2014 Hours: 17.00 – 24.00 Place: Selected areas of the Cocoon Mall at the east exit of the Saitama Shintoshin station Price: Free Parking: Open 9.00 – 1.00. 200 yen for 30 minutes, but if you have a Cocoon card or if you spend more than a 1000 yen in one shop you get one hour free parking. If you use the cinema you get 3 hours free parking. Address:4-267-2 Kishikicho, Omiya Ward, Saitama City Phone: 048-601-5050 Access: 1 minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station, about an 8 minute walk from JR Kitayono Station
Blue lights Symphony, Winter Illumination at Keyaki Hiroba, Saitama Shintoshin
There will also be winter concerts run the week of Christmas in conjunction with this event, please keep an eye on this blog for more information.
Dates: November 2013 to February 14th 2014 Hours: 17.00 – 24.00 Place: The area of keyabi hiroba which is between Saitama Shintoshin and Saitama super arena Price: Free Parking: 400 yen for the 1st hour, 200 yen for each subsequent half hour Address: 2-27 Kamiochiai, Chuo Ward, Saitama City 338-0001 Phone: 048-600-0070 Access: 2 minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station, about a 7 minute walk from JR Kitayono Station