Tag Archives: Sakado

Strawberry Picking season opens @ Shimura Strawberry Farm | SAKADO

The strawberry picking season for 2017 will open on January 2nd in Shimura Strawberry and Flower fields Farm in Sakado, Saitama. Of all the strawberry picking greenhouses I have been to, I find this one the most fun for young kids. The season will run until around the end of May depending on weather and other factors.



This year the cost is 1800 yen for adults and children over 6, children between 3 and 6 years old are 1400 yen,  2 year old children are 200 yen. You can also buy punnets of strawberries. One punnet costs 600 yen.

The farm is open to the public from 10 am, the closing time depends on the strawberries on the day, but generally they close around 4.30 pm. They are not normally open for business on Mondays, except the opening day. The location and website in the details section below.

For FULL details of this strawberry from please see my article from earlier in the year of my experience there with my 4 young children.

Strawberry Picking with a play area | Sakado

Grape Picking Kojima Vineyard | SAKADO

End of August to End of September. You can’t eat on site, you need to pick the grapes and bring them home. 1kg 864 yen. No need for reservation. 049-281-7268. Buggies, wheelchairs, pets ok. BYO bento fine too. http://www010.upp.so-net.ne.jp/kojima/pctop.htm

Summer Festivals in Saitama July 14th – 20th 2016

What an absolutely fabulous selection of festivals on offer the first weekend of the summer school holidays. There is something for everyone in Saitama the weekend of July 16th to 20th. From the very traditional, history rich Japanese festivals, to a taste of Brazil in a Summer Carnival. From family friendly children processions to beer garden alcohol laden adult friendly festivals!  The choice is as extensive as it is diverse.

Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals you can enjoy this weekend, with links to more information in Japanese. Please note, that if there are any typhoons there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Satte Festival

July 14th, 16th and 17th

The large lantern floats are one of the major attractions of this annual 4 day festival. You can see them this year on the evening of the 17th from about 6pm.  Over the 4 days there are different events happening around the exit of Tobu Nikko Line Satte Station.  More information here (May 2016 – online information for 2016 festival has not been updated yet).

 

Okegawa Gion Festival

July 15th and 16th

The Okegawa Gion Festival has about 400 festival stalls and attracts about 100,000 people over the 2 days of festivities. Both days the festival runs between 3pm and 9pm approximately. The festival is close to the East exit of JR Takasaki Line Okegawa station. More information here. 

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 16th

SUmmer Carnival tsurugashima
Image taken fom the Saitama Tourist Office

This colourful carnival, just a minute from Tsurugashima station, is quite different from the traditional festivals at this time of year, but just as fun and vivacious.  This event will take place even it is raining. Image taken from the Saitama’s Tourism Bureau.  More information from the Tsurugashima City Official website here .

Fukiage Festival

July 16th and 17th

From the Kounosu City Official website

This local festival in Kounosu is not as well-known or well attended as the Paper Lantern festival, but its a fun day out all the same. There is a portable shrine during the day and an illuminated float at night. You can also enjoy a beer garden. It is held near the Fukiage station on the JR Takasaki line. More information here.

Sugito Festival

July 16th  and 17th

Awaiting updated flyer from the official page.

2014 Flyer from the official website

Sugito is most famous for the Tobu Zoo and amusement park. The town really bands together for their annual festival. There is a fantastic line-up of events over the 2 day festival, including child friendly attractions, even a children’s parade. From the official website: More information here.

 

Honjo Festival

July 16th and 17th

From the Honjo Tourism website

This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space.

You can find more information and the schedule on the official website.

Yono Festival

July 16th and 17th

There are a couple of local festivals in Yono this weekend. You can get more information on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website here.

Yoshikawa Summer Festival

July 16th and 17th

Awaiting for an updated flyer from the official website.

From the offical Yoshikawa website

This 400 year old festival is the pride of Yoshikawa city. It is quite different to other festivals in that it is spread out geographically and does not take place in one central location.  You can find out more on the official website here.

Kazo Festival

July 16th  and 17th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Mikoshi, portable shrines, floats with traditional music and masked dancers performing sacred dances. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 16th – 17th

It is not as big as some of the other summer festivals this weekend, but there is dance and parading floats. Please check out the official website for more detail on this local Sakado Festival.

Omiya Summer Festival

July 17th

Taken from Saitama Tourism and Internationl Relations Bureau (STIB)

The festival officially starts at 3pm, but the portable shrine progression will start around 5pm. It takes place to the south exit of Omiya station. This event will most likely NOT take place in the event of rain.

Information on the official website; Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

Kuki Lantern Festival / Tenno Festival

July 18th (also held on July 12th)

This festival celebrates local folklore and is famous throughout Japan. Huge floats of paper lanterns are carried through the town. From the official festival website: http://kuki.jpn.org/main/kankoukyoukai/maturi/

Chichibu Kawase Firework Festival

July 19th – 20th

Chichibu Kawase Festival

This festival is quite hard to get to, but people still come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. It attracts about 40,000 people and there are about 300 stalls.  There are also fireworks on the 19th from 20.00. 1300 fireworks will be launched.

This is NOT the official website, but it has the most detail: http://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_festival/1273/

Kagohara Summer Festival

July 19th to 20th

From the official Kumagaya City website

Held on the 19th and 20th each year, even if they are weekdays. This festival in Kumagaya is much lesser known than the famous Kumagaya Uchiwa festival. It is held near Kagohara station. More information on the official site here.

ENJOY WHICHEVER FESTIVAL YOU ATTEND TO KICK OFF THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS, and be sure to let us know how you got on.

MORE FESTIVALS COMING FOR THIS SUMMER IN SAITAMA.

Strawberry Picking with a play area | Sakado

2 Shimura (1)

2 Shimura (2)Today, we visited a greenhouse type strawberry picking farm in Sakado. This farm has been on my radar since I saw a small write-up about it in a Walker magazine. I was glad we went to check it out.  In previous years, we’ve picked our strawberries and ate them and headed home or onto another nearby location. Today, we spent the whole afternoon at the Shimura Strawberry Farm and Flower Fields. Half an hour was spent picking and eating the delicious strawberries, the rest was spent enjoying the free extra services of the fruit picking farm (gallery below). They have a number of different greenhouses. The reception is in “Dai Ichi”, where you take off your shoes and put on slippers. We picked in Dai Ni today, which is connected to the main greenhouse for ease of movement.




2 Shimura (3)Within “Dai 2” there are 3 different types of strawberries you can choose from. All were sweet and delicious. They use bees in the greenhouse for pollination, but they are not dangerous. The beds are raised making them easier to pick and less likely to have mold. My 1 year old was easily able to navigate the aisles and even pick her own strawberries. Like most greenhouses it was very warm; one good reason to pick in winter. Of all the strawberry picking greenhouse farms I have been to, I like this one the most. It was excellent value for money given that my kids enjoyed playing indoors and outdoors before and after picking. I could sip complimentary tea and green tea, available to all customers, while the kids played. Its location is good for anyone who drives as it is so close to the highway. It is on the Ken-o highway, Sakado exit, very close to the Tsurgashima Interchange for the Kanetsu expressway making it accessible not only to people in Saitama, but other areas of Kanto too. There isn’t much in the immediate area though (nearby attractions below), but they do have a fish farm next door and flower fields, the latter of which is free to anyone. We enjoyed a walk up the embankment. You can sometimes see swans and Tsuru, Japanese crane, in the surrounding rice paddies too; we were particularly lucky to see a whole flock of swans!

INFORMATION:

SEASON: January to

OPENING HOURS:  from 10am, generally Tuesday to Sunday

TEL: 080-5028-1062 phone between 8am and 6pm.

URL: http://www.shimura-nouen.com/index2.html

It is not possible to book, but you may want to ring in advance or check their website to make sure the farm is open to the public on the day you are going.

Public Toilets and Free Parking.

PRICES:

For 30 minutes all-you-can-eat:

Adults and children over 6 ¥1,400 2016 increased to 1800 yen.

Children aged 3 to 6 ¥1,200 2016 increased to 1400 yen.

2 year olds ¥400 2016 reduced to 200 yen.

Under 2 toddlers are free. Discounts are available for school groups of more than 10.

2017 information

Strawberry Picking season opens @ Shimura Strawberry Farm | SAKADO

 

ACCESS

Approximately 1 kilometre or 4 minutes by car from the Sakado exit of the Ken-O expressway.

 

http://www.shimura-nouen.com/map.html

http://www.shimura-nouen.com/map.html

For lists of places to strawberry pick in Japan, please scroll to the bottom of the article. For more information on the strawberry picking system in Japan and some farms in Kanto, please see: http://kajapan.org/places/strawberry-picking-in-kanto/

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Sakado Jidokan – free children’s community centre with planetarium

Sakado Taoist Temple – A popular backdrop for cosplayers

Sakado Taoist Temple (3)  Sakado Taoist Temple (2)

Kawagoe “Little Edo” Tourist Town

Heisei no Mori park, with Japan’s largest rose tunnel

Heisei no mori park Kawajima

 

Meiji Sakado Factory Tour

Strawberry Picking Articles




Over the years, I have written quite a lot of articles about Strawberry Picking in Japan. It is not that we pick strawberries a lot, it is just that when I first researched strawberry picking in Saitama there was no information in English. I subsequently realised that there was limited information for the whole of the Kanto region and I wanted to fill the void.  Thus, I had found a niche and it has served me well… or rather, I have served it well!


 

Search terms:
This article will be of interest to people looking for a strawberry picking area with a play area. Other potential search terms will be something different in saitama, rainy day outing in saitama, things to do on a rainy day, keeping warm in winter, winter activities or winter outings with kids, ideas of things to do as a family, family outing from Tokyo, commutable from Tokyo, educational fun with kids, easy outings for children, things to do with children, fruit picking with children, things to do with children in Japan, strawberry picking Japan.

 

Sakado Yosakoi Traditional Dance Festival

The Sakado Yosakoi traditional dance festival will be opened on the evening of the 9th. The street parade and stage performances are scheduled for the 10th and 11th. This event used to take place in summer. However, due to it’s acclaim and popularity, from this year this event will be held in OCTOBER, to accommodate its growing size.

From the Sakado City Commerical and Labor Division
From the Sakado City Commerical and Labor Division

Despite only 15 years of history, Sakado Yosakoi is making a name for itself as one of the biggest Yosakoi traditional dance festivals in the whole of Japan. You can enjoy food, drink, music, dance, street and stage performances over the 2.5 day period.

The opening night festivities are conducted on the South side of Sakado station. The parade is conducted on the North side of that station. The main stage is almost half way between Sakado and Kita-Sakado stations; it is marginally closer to the latter. At Kita-Sakado station there are other designated festival areas.

The festival is managed by the Sakado City Hall, the phone number is 049-283-1331, extensions 347 and 346. The official webpage is http://www.sakadoyosakoi.com/
第15回坂戸よさこい.

Summer Festivals in Saitama July 17th – 20th 2015

What an absolutely fabulous hotchpotch of festivals on offer this weekend. There is something for everyone in Saitama this weekend. From the very traditional, history rich Japanese festivals, to a taste of Brazil in a Summer Carnival. From family friendly children processions to beer garden alcohol laden adult friendly festivals!  The choice is as extensive as it is diverse.

Below is a list of the some of the larger, more famous or well attended festivals you can enjoy this weekend, with links to more information in Japanese. Please note, that due to typhoon nangka there maybe changes to the planned schedules and possibly cancellations, too.

Summer Carnival in Tsurugashima

July 18th

SUmmer Carnival tsurugashima
Image taken fom the Saitama Tourist Office

This colourful carnival, just a minute from Tsurugashima station, is quite different from the traditional festivals at this time of year, but just as fun and vivacious.  This event will take place even it is raining. Image taken from the Saitama’s Tourism Bureau.  More information from the Tsurugashima City Official website here .

Fukiage Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Kounosu City Official website

This local festival in Kounosu is not as well-known or well attended as the Paper Lantern festival, but its a fun day out all the same. There is a portable shrine during the day and an illuminated float at night. You can also enjoy a beer garden. It is held near the Fukiage station on the JR Takasaki line.

More information here.

Sugito Festival

July 18th  and 19th

2014 Flyer from the official website

Sugito is most famous for the Tobu Zoo and amusement park. The town really bands together for their annual festival. There is a fantastic line-up of events over the 2 day festival, including child friendly attractions, even a children’s parade. From the official website: More information here

Honjo Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Honjo Tourism website

This festival occurs every year on the 2 days preceding “umi no hi”, an annual holiday in Japan. It attracts about 40,000 people. There are 70 stalls. One of the unusual features of this festival is the 雨乞獅子“rain begging lions” or lion dancers performing rain dance; a very unique twist on a shishimai performance, which is most common at New Year. There is a children’s portable shrine procession and parade from 3.30pm on the Saturday, at the community plaza public space.

You can find more information and the schedule on the official website.

Yono Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website.

There are a couple of local festivals in Yono this weekend. You can get more information on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau website here.

Yoshikawa Summer Festival

July 18th and 19th

From the offical Yoshikawa website

This 400 year old festival is the pride of Yoshikawa city. It is quite different to other festivals in that it is spread out geographically and does not take place in one central location.  You can find out more on the official website here.

Kazo Festival

July 18th  and 19th

Image taken from Kazo City’s website

Please keep an eye on their website for updates, as it maybe cancelled due to the typhoon. The official website:Kazo City festival

Sakado Festival

July 18th – 19th

Image taken from the Sakado city website

It is not as big as some of the other summer festivals this weekend, but there is dance and parading floats. Please check out the official website for more detail on this local Sakado Festival.

Omiya Summer Festival

July 19th

Taken from Saitama Tourism and Internationl Relations Bureau (STIB)

The festival officially starts at 3pm, but the portable shrine progression will start around 5pm. It takes place to the south exit of Omiya station. This event will most likely NOT take place in the event of rain.

Information on the official website; Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

Chichibu Kawase Firework Festival

July 19th – 20th

Chichibu Kawase Festival

This festival is quite hard to get to, but people still come from far and wide to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the celebrations at the 2000 year old Chichibu shrine. It attracts about 40000 people and there are about 300 stalls.  There are also fireworks on the 19th from 20.00. 1300 fireworks will be launched.

This is NOT the official website, but it has the most detail: http://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_festival/1273/

Kagohara Summer Festival

July 19th to 20th

From the official Kumagaya City website

One of two festivals happening in Kumagaya this weekend. This one is much lesser known. It is held near Kagohara station.

More information on the official site here.

Urawa Yosakoi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

This dance and music festival is an all day event, starting from 10 in the morning. It is being held near the JR Minami Urawa Station.There are about 20 stalls at the festival. Generally about 50,000 people come to enjoy the yosakoi dance. More information can be found on the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau (STIB).  There is also a festival taking place near Urawa station:

Urawa Mikoshi Festival

July 20th

Image taken from the STIB website

1 of 2 of Urawa’s festivals this Monday, which is a national holiday in Japan.  A “mikoshi” is a portable shrine, carried by many people who have trained for many weeks to carry it in tandem. This festival also has a children’s mikoshi. The mikoshi procession starts at 14.30 near Urawa station.

From STIB Saitama official tourist website: http://www.stib.jp/

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival

July 20th – 22nd

An “uchiwa” is a type of Japanese fan, a much-needed accessory at this time of year in Japan. This festival stems from a custom of distributing free fans in the retail district, that started roughly 100 years ago. It attracts about 750,000 making it one of the biggest festivals this weekend. There are over 300 stalls. The festival starts on a public holiday and goes through to mid-week.

Image taken from the official website: Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri

ENJOY WHICHEVER FESTIVAL YOU ATTEND THIS WEEKEND, and be sure to let us know how you got on.

MORE FESTIVALS COMING NEXT WEEK!

Halloween goods at Daiso 100 yen store

There’s a great selection of Halloween goods at Daiso, one of the better known 100 yen shops in Japan. A 100 yen shop is roughly equivalent to a one pound/ euro / dollar store. They carry a huge range of goods most of which are quite decent quality. I took these photos covertly with an old mobile phone so the quality isn’t great, but you get an idea of the range available. One thing to note about Halloween produce in Japan; its stocked early, but they also take it off the shelves early too. I’ve been caught out a couple of times by waiting to the week before Halloween to shop for these seasonal items. This particular Daiso is in Wakaba Walk in Sakado.

“Multi-training wall” at Miyoshino Children’s Centre, Sakado

 

Yesterday, we went to our local children’s centre to participate in a free event for toddlers.  Half way through the hour long event, DD1 decided she’d had enough.  It is very relaxed at these events for preschoolers, so there is no problem leaving the room during the event to do other things.  DD1 had her eye on the training wall on the ground floor; an opportunity to use it all by herself.

There are lots of toys and activities that the children can use for free at the various children’s centres around Japan. This is just one at our local centre; a マルチトレーナ which translates to multi-trainer. The ceramic tiled wall has a number of buttons surrounded by a light that flashes, one button at a time, to indicate which button to press.  The activity runs on a timer and the aim is to hit as many of the targets as possible.

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I haven’t seen this type of wall at the other centre’s we go, each seems to have its own unique special activity.  This seems to be our centre’s unique activity and it’s popular with all ages. When the trampoline is out it goes against this wall so its not available for use every visit, which adds to its appeal.

Miyoshino Children’s Centre is located in the Miyoshino area of Sakado.

Address 150-5 Kouya, Sakado City

Access A 10 minute walk from Higashi Sakado Danshi busstop on the bus bound for “Kawagoe Station” via Higashi Sakado Danshi which goes from Wakaba station on the Tobu Tojo line. For residents of Sakado there is free city shuttle bus; the “higashi” (East) course’s busstop number 12 “Miyoshino Jido Centre” stops right outside the Children’s Centre.