Two performances of the famous Taiko group “Sai” will be held on Saturday the 24th of June in Ageo, Ario. There will also be a chance to try your hand at taiko yourself. The performances are scheduled for 11 am and 3 pm.
In celebration of fifty years of Toyota Corolla, Ario in Ageo are having a car show showcasing the Toyota Corolla cars down through the years.
Each year the number and quality of Halloween events is improving in the Saitama area. We’ve a way to go before we get to the level of Chiba or Kanagawa, but there is enough in the area for the kids to enjoy.
**Halloween kicks off in Saitama on October 1st.**
Daily From October 1st~31st
①Happy Halloween 2016 【Saitama Children’s Zoo】| HIGASHIMATSUYAMA
One of the few events that can be enjoyed daily during the month of October, the children’s castle in the zoo is transformed into a Halloween castle. They have Halloween colouring daily. If you colour a picture you get a sweet in return. On the weekends they have additional events, such as face painting and crafts. You can see more detail in English here:
②Halloween Dessert Buffet 【Royal Pines Hotel】| URAWA
For the month of October you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat Halloween buffet in the Royal Pines Hotel. Further details in English here:
③Kisai Halloween 2016 | KAZO
One of Saitama’s longest running Halloween celebrations is taking place in Kazo City from 11 am. It includes a costume contest, halloween parade and Halloween hunter event. There are also food booths and even a pet corner. You can get more information here:
④ Fancy dress and Halloween Illumination Light up 【Shinrin Park】| NAMEGAWA
Shinrin Park kicks off its Halloween events for 2016 with the Halloween Illumination Light up. They are inviting kids to come in fancy dress. More details:
Weekends From October 8th to October 30th
⑤Night in the Forest 【Shinrin Park】| NAMEGAWA
On weekends and the bank holiday Shinrin Park are running a number of events for Halloween, including crafts and their Halloween illumination. More details:
⑥Halloween Night Zoo 【Tobu Zoo】| SUGITO
On weekends and public holidays from October 8th to October 30th, Tobu Zoo is running a Halloween night zoo with special events. More information here:
October 15th and 16th
⑦”Let’s Make a Witches Hat” 【Cocoon 1 and 2】| SAITAMA
October 22nd and 23rd
⑧”Let’s Make a Trick or Treat Bag” 【Cocoon 1 and 2】| SAITAMA
⑨Trick or Treat 【Tokyu Hands, Lalaport】| FUJIMI
If you find the staff in costume and say “Trick or Treat” you will receive an original Tokyu Hands Halloween Candy .
More information in Japanese: http://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/halloween/2016/ (External site: Tokyu Hands official page).
⑩Happy Halloween | KITAMOTO
⑪Omiya Halloween Walk | SAITAMA
⑫Halloween Face Painting and Craft Workshops 【Shinrin Park】| NAMEGAWA
⑲Halloween Walk | HIGASHIMATSUYAMA
Added October 16th
⑱STEPS HALLOWEEN PARTY
Amended October 16th to reflect the date and location change. For members of the Saitama Tots English Playdates group. The party will be held in
Fujimi Toda. More details can be found through the group. If you are eligible to become a member (>one parent speaks fluent English), you can find us here:
October 29th and 30th
⑬Halloween Parade 2016 【Mallage】| KUKI
The Mallage Mall in Kuki will have 3 Halloween parades at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm on both Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th. It is a free event for families with kids, but restricted to the first 100 customers and you need to apply in advance. The last day for entry is October 25th.
Further information in Japanese: http://www.mallage.com/shobu/event_list.php (external site, official page of Mallage mall)
２１。Halloween at Seibuen
Amazing line up for the Halloween celebrations in Seibuen Amusement Park this year, including HALLOWEEN FIREWORKS, Illumination, face painting, magic show and more:
⑭Halloween World | WARABI
⑮Halloween Costume Parade 【Cocoon】| SAITAMA
⑯Halloween Parade and Bingo 【Ario】| Ageo
⑰Halloween Party 【Tobu Zoo】| SUGITO
⑳ Halloween at Shinmisato
Seibu Yuuenchi seems to have dropped their annual Halloween event. If new information comes to light I will add it here.
Kennys Village (camping grounds) in Hanno also run Halloween events every year, but currently there website is down.
OMIYA HALLOWEEN FES is on October 29th this year. You can bring kids to it, but it is more of an adult event:
Do you know of any Halloween events in Saitama? Please do share here for the benefit of other English speakers in Saitama. Thank you 🙂
The circus at Ario in Ageo will run from September 17th to November 23rd. However, it is closed on Wednesdays (except for September 28th and November 23rd) and other days during this period. You can see the full schedule in the event website linked in the event details. There are 3 showings on Sundays and public holidays at 10.30 am, 1.10 pm and 3.50 pm. There are 2 showings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays and 1 showing every other day it is running. You can buy tickets online or at the gate. If you are a member of COOP you can also buy tickets from them, at a reduced price.
Ario in Ageo is a very family friendly shopping mall. More information in English:
Ario in Ageo is now open and very toddler friendly
This circus will move on to Tsukuba in Ibaraki from December 10th until February 11th. After that it will move to Himeji in Hyogo prefecture, from February 11th until April 9th. Prices may vary according to site location.
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For more fun and interesting things to do in Saitama, please click on “all events” to be taken to a calendar of events for Saitama. You can find some really unique “only in Japan” events coming up in Saitama. Most of the content I provide is translated from official websites that have no English page. My only aim is to help non-Japanese speaking foreigners living in Saitama (and those commutable from Saitama in places such as Tokyo and Gunma) get the most out of all the great things Saitama has to offer.
Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals and fireworks that are scheduled for this Saturday, JULY 30TH. Each place is mapped on a Google Map at the bottom of the article.
Kawagoe Summer Festival
Only 30 minutes from Tokyo, the historic town of Kawagoe is a popular place to experience a typical Japanese summer festival. The festival is celebrated each year on the last Saturday and Sunday of July. The festival includes parades, processions, portable shrines, music and dance. There are also many festival stalls with traditional Japanese festival games or selling festival food.
Time: from 2pm on Saturday
Contact: Kawagoe City Tourist Information Office 049-222-5556
Location: Spreads from around Hon Kawagoe Station to the main tourist area by the Bell Tower.
Access: Hon Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Approximately a 8 minute walk from Kawagoe station on the JR Kawagoe and Tobu Tojo Lines.
Ageo fireworks are one of the 10 largest firework displays in Saitama. Approximately 10,000 fireworks will be launched, including “shakudama” 尺玉 which are the largest sized shells. There are starmines as well as fireworks with celebratory messages for birthdays, marriage and good results in tests. These fireworks attract about 160,000 spectators. There are about 50 festival stalls. The fireworks are launched near Riverside Phoenix Golf course, which is a 15 minute bus ride from JR Takasaki Line, Ageo Station. Queries to Ageo Tourist Board at 048-775-5917. You can also view the fireworks from Maruyama Park and Enomoto Farm. The farm usually closes at 5pm, but stays open until 9pm on the day of the fireworks. Parking is free at Enomoto Farm.
Time: from 7pm
Location: Riverside Phoenix Golf course
Access: Bus from JR Takasaki Line, Ageo Station
Koshigaya fireworks are another of the larger firework displays held in Saitama. They attract a huge crowd of about 250,000 people. They have been running for 28 years. Approximately 5000 fireworks will be launched, weather permitting, between, roughly, 19.00 and 20.50. The viewing site is about a 6 minute walk from the east exit of Koshigaya station. There is no parking. The Koshigaya station is crazily crowded after the fireworks finished. You may have to wait a long time to get on a train. The last train toward Asakusa station is at 23.52 and toward Tobu Zoo is 20 past midnight. If you can walk to either Kita Koshigaya or Shin Koshigaya station, you will have a better chance of getting a train out before last train . Queries to Koshigaya Tourist Board: 048-971-9002 or http://www.koshigaya-sightseeing.jp/ You can also view these fireworks from Higashi Koshigaya Dai Ichi Park.
Time: from 7pm
Contact: Koshigaya Tourist Board 048-971-9002
Location: Chuo civic center east side Embankment in Kasai Irrigation Channel
Access: East Entrance Koshigaya Station, Tobu Skytree Line
Saitama City Fireworks
From the official Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau http://www.stib.jp/event/data/oowadahanabi.html
NTT television organise these popular fireworks held annually on July 30th in Owada park in Saitama. The park itself is a 15 minute walk from Omiya Park station on the Tobu Urban Park line. People arrive early to secure a good viewing location. 5,000 fireworks will be launched around 7.30 pm. Displays include starmines and rapid succession type fireworks. Queries to 0180-99-3144. You can also reserve a space for a leisure sheet through that number. It’s 3500 yen for a double sheet, 5000 yen for a family size sheet.
Time: from 7.30pm
Contact: NTT 0180-99-3144
Location: Owada Park, Saitama City.
Access: Omiya Park Station, Tobu Urban Park Line
Summer Festa at Kitamoto
This local festival has been growing year on year. This year they will have taiko drum performances, traditional Japanese dance, festival booths, parades, kids dance, live music and more. http://www.city.kitamoto.saitama.jp/kanko/oshirase/1464744695186.html
Time: 3.30 pm to 9 pm
Contact: Kitamoto Commercial Association 048-591-4461
Location: East side of Kitamoto Station
Access: Kitamoto Station on the Takasaki Line
Wherever you end up this Saturday, have a great time!
To the best of my knowledge this information was accurate at time of research. With all fireworks and festivals (events in general) information is subject to change due to weather and/or mitigating factors.
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A new Halloween event in Ageo. The Ageo mascots Ari-kun and Rio-chan will dress up in costume and put on an Halloween performance. Come in fancy dress and parade with them. There are three parades on the day; midday, 2pm and 4pm. Ario events tend to draw crowds, so arrive early to avoid disappoint. The gathering point is at the outdoor event stage, out the side of the Homac Store. There will be spot giveaways of sweets to 20 lucky participants.
Added to the master list of Halloween events in the Greater Tokyo Area 2015.
Enomoto Farm in Ageo is frequently mentioned in guide books to Saitama with small children, due to the selection of bikes and push along toys kids can play with for free. In more recent years, it also features in cycling magazines as a suitable place to rest and refresh on the Arakawa cycle course route. Its most famous acclaim is its delicious ice-cream, which has been featured on TV. Some say its the best south of Hokkaido!
Last March the Enomoto’s built a new ice-cream shop on their premises. They tore down the old shop and replaced it, so the shop does not take away space from the play and rest area. The new shop has more seating than the previous shop. At a guess it sits about 20 people. The picnic tables and toilets remain the same, as does the play area out by the BBQ pits. They have added a cycle course map and information spot in the rest area. I don’t which came first, the information or the cyclists, but nowadays there are more cyclists than kids!
More articles about this farm;
Saitama has a large number of superb free children’s (community/ play) centres, called jidokan or jido centre “jidose” (児童館・児童センター）. Many mothers agree that Ageo’s kodomo-no-shiro, “children’s castle”, is among the best. In terms of size, equipment and diversity, I would personally rank it as number 1. My children go regularly and they have never tired of it. There is plenty of play equipment, toys and games as well as various rooms including a library, a gym hall and a workshop. Each floor has a rest area with vending machines and toilets. There is a dedicated baby room on the ground floor with free guidance on scheduled days. Also on the ground floor there is a play area restricted to babies and toddlers two and under. There is a large space outside to play as well as a playground in the adjacent park.
Ageo’s Kodomo no Shiro, Children’s Castle in Photos
As you come in from reception the ground floor boasts lots of climbing equipment and slides.
The baby room with consultancy is located beside the game and rest area. The baby and toddler play room is at the back of the ground floor on the left handside.
Also, on the ground floor is a gym hall (not pictured) and the exit to the open space and sandpit. From the car park you can see an outdoor playground, but you need to go out of the community centre to access it.
There are other rooms including a library and a workshop upstairs that are not pictured.
ADDRESS: Japan, 〒362-0047 埼玉県上尾市今泉272
272 Imaizumi, Ageo City, Saitama 362-0047
PHONE NUMBER: 048-783-0888
ACCESS: Located near the Ario in Ageo. Free parking. By public transport; you can get a bus from JR Takasaki line West exit for 西上尾第二団地 (Nishi Ageo dai ni danchi) and alight at the “Kodomo no shiro mae” bus stop.
Ageo City is one of our favourite cities in Saitama. It has plenty of things to do for children and adults alike. There is so much to do in fact I have split this blog post into two; one on outdoor locations and one on indoor locations. I find Ageo is particularly baby and toddler-friendly. Here is a list of our favourite places to go outdoors in Ageo City with our preschooler, toddler and baby. They are all mapped on a Google MyMap at the bottom of the article.
Free entry and free parking.
3326 Hirakata, Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. TEL: 048-781-0163. From JR Ageo Station; Tobu bus for terminal “Maruyama Park”; West Exit No. 6 bus City bus “Gurutto-kun” for hirakata-zyunkan; West Exit. Alight at “Maruyama Koen Minamiguchi” bus stop or “Shizen gakusyu-kan iriguchi” bus stop.
You can find more information in English on my blog post Maruyama Park, Ageo City. Or view more photos on my blog post #Hanami Spot with Toddlers, Maruyama Park, Ageo City. You can also view what the autumn leaves look like: Autumn scenery in Saitama, Japan
Free entry and free parking. You can pay to milk cows or for a tour.
736-1 Azeyoshi, Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. TEL: 048-726-1306. From JR Kita-Ageo Station; Tobu bus for Nishi Ageo Shako, takes about 25 minutes. You can also use the city bus “Guruttokun”. By car 15 minutes from the Iwatsuki Interchange on the Tohoku expressway.
You can find more information in English on my blog post Hanami Spot with Toddlers, Enomoto Farm, Ageo.
Free entry and free parking.
16 Sugaya, Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. TEL: 048-776-8986. From the East exit of the JR Ageo Station you can get a city bus to the park.
For photos and more information in English, see my blog post Where old meet young, Kamihira Park, Ageo City
Free entry and free parking.
1212 Hiratsuka, Ageo City, Saitama. Get the city bus, Gurutto, from the east side of Ageo Station. Alight at Hiratsuka Park.
Saitama Water Park
Free entry to the park, but you have to pay to use the facilities. Parking also costs money, 800 yen in peak season.
2 Chome Hinode, Ageo, Saitama Prefecture 362-0032. Tel: 048-773-6711. Tobu bus from JR Ageo Station headed for Omiya and alight at Ageo Undo Park. It’s about a 10 minute walk. You can use the city bus which stops outside the park, but its a 7 minute walk up to the entrance.
On this blog in English: Summer pools at Saitama Water Park | AGEO
Ageo Exercise Park
Free playground and free parking. There are car rides at the playground that cost a 100 yen to use. You have to pay to use the sports facilities.
Most of these play areas are easily accessible by car from neighbouring areas of Ageo such as Kitamoto City, Okegawa City, Kawajima Town, Ina Town, the West and Minuma Wards of Saitama and Hasuda City.
My overwhelming impression of today’s new park is that it is the most used park I’ve been to this month. A friend commented to me recently that Japanese people don’t bring their kids to play outdoors in January. I hadn’t given it much thought until then, but it really does seem to be true in a lot of areas. However, Kamihira park in Ageo City defies that theory as there were plenty of people making use of the park’s facilities.
Kamihira park has, what seems to be, a very popular tennis club. There is also a jogging course, not to mention the baseball pitch and stadium. All, but the latter were getting full usage today. I couldn’t believe the buzz in the park, I haven’t seen a park that busy since late November. The patrons were largely pensioners and mothers with young children. You often see retired people walking or playing gate ball in parks in Japan, but I have never seen so many of the older generation in one park at one time. And I haven’t seen so many young children in the playground since Autumn.
One of the pieces of playground equipment is a bucket crane truck. My son (3 years old) was in playground heaven! I think this may even be a contender for a coveted position on his top ten playground list.
Address: 16 Sugaya, Ageo, Saitama 362-0003