A map of most of the key locations for hanami and / or sakura cherry blossom viewing in the Saitama area. Please click on the location for further information. If you have a blog post or photo of any location on the map (or indeed any location not on the map but in Saitama) that you would like added, please do feel free to contact me. I will add your photo and / or post and link it back to your website or blog. Also, if there is somewhere you feel should be added to this map and you are willing to share its location, please do leave a comment or contact me directly.
All the best for this beautiful spring and sakura season. 🙂
We have only been to Hanasaki Water Park once, due to the distance from our house, but it made quite an impression on me. It isn’t a huge park, but there is a lot to do in the relatively small area. So much so, I recommend it as one of those parks that it is worth a journey to, even just once. That is, if you are in Saitama!
POOLS AND BIKES
There are two main attractions of this park. One is the water park, which is available from mid July to end of August. It has a number of different pools, including one for kids, and a Jacuzzi . You can also rent floats, pool beds and a boat for a separate charge. The other main attraction is the bike hire which includes some pretty unusual and fun bikes. The bikes are charged by the hour for the number of people that can ride them. They have quirky bikes for one, tandems for two (of course!), even a car bike, for want of a better description. Its a bike in the shape of a car, or maybe a car that you cycle! Oh…maybe we call them pedal cars – please comment if you know the answer! Whatever you call it; its great fun. The kids loved this the most.
The park has a lot to offer other than the most popular attractions. The playground has a great big combination piece of equipment. Beside it there are some spring rides and small slides suited to small children. They also have stepping stones, climbing rungs, a little house and other pieces of equipment. There is a large gasebo beside the play area with benches and a couple of tables. Nearby is a wading river that opens early June. The BBQ area can be used during that time too. There is also a scenic river on the far side of the park lined with magnificent conifer (meta sequoia) trees. There is a walkway beside with a wooden path over a type of lotus pond, with other beautiful scenery in different seasons. There is a lake with pedal AND swan boats for hire. The pools are used as fishing ponds out of season (don’t want to think about that too much!). The battery cars in the pool area are accessible most of the year. They have putter golf and sports grounds. There is a small flower garden maze and a wide open grass area. There is even a restaurant, but it closes during off season. You can find up-to-date costs for each activity on the website, which is linked below.
So you see, it is a park worth visiting at some point, even out of summer season. If you do plan to go during the summer, please see the up-to-date charges on the website, linked below. The park also recommends that you arrive early to get a parking spot, particularly on Saturdays when the park is at its busiest.
**Please note that some of the services are not available on Mondays, except during the 6 weeks of summer holidays**
Train: About a 15 minute walk from Tobu Isesaki Line Hanasaki Station
Car: Approximately 3 kilometers from Kazo Interchange of the ken-o expressway. Parking: Free out of pool season, but once the pool opens it costs 820 yen for the day. Spaces for up to 1,200 cars. Between April and September the car park is open from 8am to 6.30pm. From October to March it closes at 5.30pm.
On the 17th of October there is a Halloween Festival and Gourmet Fair being held in the Saitama Super Arena from 10am to 9pm.
There are special events including a fancy dress competition. You need to be in full costume to enter the competition, just make up and/or a witches hat will not suffice. Registration is on the day, between 11am and 1pm.
The performances include many dance performances in the morning. The costume contest and cosplay show happens mid afternoon from about 3pm. That is followed by some more performances and music.
There is food and service booths as well as a designated kids space.
Saitama Super Arena is a 2 minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station, about a 7 minute walk from JR Kitayono Station and there is parking available. The car park costs 400 円 for the first hour and 200 円 for every subsequent hour.
Saitama Super Arena website: http://www.saitama-arena.co.jp/
Event webpage: http://guts-minuma.net/
On the 10th of October, Yono will celebrate the Taishou Period festival for the 24th year in a row. This free event, at the West side of Yono station, runs from 10am to 8pm.
The Taishou period was between 1912 and 1926. Participants of this time slip festival dress up in period costumes and parade down the street in front of the West side of the station. There are about 100 stalls/booths selling festival food, drink and games.