Hanazono Forest: Cakes, pastry and sweets specialist, dairy free tofu sweets, sweets outlet, bakery, ice-cream, restaurant, rose garden, playground and free factory view
Hanazono Forest, Fukaya, Saitama
Hanazono Forest in Fukaya City is a type of wholesalers or outlet for confectionery and pastry. It is a very popular spot with sweet lovers, particularly baum kuchen fans. The baum kuchen by Cherier, the manufacturers behind Hanazono Forest and Kamisato Cantare, recieved the highest accolade of a gold prize in a European confectionary competition.
While I personally wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to visit this location (except during rose season and / or if you are a serious foodie or baum kuchen fan maybe), there are several people who do according to online reports. The majority of the custom though, is people passing by on their way to / from Nagatoro or the Chichibu district.
It is popular because it is an outlet for cakes; you can buy slightly imperfect cakes in plain transparent packaging for a discounted price. Also, you can see into the “factory”, the area where they make the cakes, which is a draw for some it would seem. I had read online about the free factory “tour”, but from what I can tell it is just the view you have and not a tour in the typical sense.
Hanazono Forest Buffets
The sweets buffet, which is available on weekday afternoons, at just 850 yen for adults and 550 yen for elementary school students is also popular. You can get a buffet meal too. That costs around 1,300 yen for adults and 900 yen for children (January 2019).
Another appeal for some is the Western architecture.
But it is the rose garden for most that is the crème de la crème (I do like my puns) of this unusual dessert themed rest area in Fukaya. The rose garden is particularly stunning in May.
And great news for families is that there is a playground right in the rose garden. One of the things that makes this a family friendly location.
It is right beside the Hanazono Roadside station, where there are more play areas and shopping. Combined they make a great spot for a longer break on a road journey, particularly as they are located close to the Hanazono Interchange of the Kan-etsu expressway. The excellent Saitama Museum of Rivers is nearby, just five minutes or so in the car.
Hanazono Forest Information
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and until 7 pm on weekends.
Address: 417 Omaeda, Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Outdoor seating available. No smoking apart from designated area outdoors.
Minutes drive from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway.
Ten minute walk from Chichibu Railway Omaeda Station.