Information for Saitama Tougetsuen Campsite, a campsite in Saitama City on the grounds of the former ‘Forest of Horses and Art’ ! The Forest of Horses and Art was destroyed by typhoon number 19, aka Hagibis, in the Autumn of 2019. Therefore, much of the area was off limits for more than a year. They reopened in 2021 as a campsite and sauna with some new facilities and a few old ones too! The campsite name pays tribute to the days of old. They called it Tougetsuen, which means peach moon in English, after the stables, a horse drawn carriage service and the forest of horses and art that used to be on the land. Although online the campsite is promoted as “Tougetsuen”, at the campsite they use the English Peach Moon.
Tougetsuen Campsite Saitama City
Just one hour from Tokyo, in Saitama’s capital city, Tougetsuen is an oasis from city life. Honestly, you will not believe that this location is in Saitama City. It is encompassed in a forest beyond which there is nothing, but flood lands for miles! However, the Kawagoe line railway tracks also pass through these flood lands, about 400 meters away. You can’t see the tracks, but Tougetsuen is so tranquil you can actually hear the trains! When there is a large event on at the sports park next door, I imagine you can probably hear that too. But in my experience, those sports fields aren’t used very often. Not on weekdays anyway.
You can rent a tent site for either 3000, small plot, or 4000 yen slightly larger. They have tents and bedding for rent too, so you can even camp here if you have no camping equipment of your own. However, they may not have everything you need to cook. They do rent grills, but you would need to have your own utensils. The parking is not beside the plots, so they have carts you can use to transport your gear (as per the featured photo at the top of the post).
You can also rent a barbecue area as a day tripper. It costs 10,000 yen for the BBQ site, which can accommodate up to 12 people. You also need to pay an additional fee of 1000 yen per adult or 500 yen for children of school going age. An entrance fee of sorts.
The sauna is temporarily unavailable and they have yet to announce when it will reopen. Please check the official website for the most up to date information. The showers are available though, even to day trippers (who have paid to use the barbecue area).
Other facilities at Tougetsuen
Unfortunately the horses are gone. Thus, so is the horse and carriage service. They used to have a great birthday party service with horse riding and all sorts of extras. Unfortunately, I don’t know whatever became of the horses. I don’t think its good news. The cafe that featured on this blog in 2019 also did not survive the typhoon. But the building is still standing. I imagine the inside is a mess. Its still off limits so you can’t see inside.
The bonsai nursery is still there, but in a different place to before. Moreover, Ryan02 is still there. Ryan02 is a kakigori specialist cafe. Kakigori cafes have increased exponentially since around 2019, but Ryan02 was one of the first gourmet kakigori specialists in Saitama City. Ryan02 is on the upper floor of a building on a hill in the unique ‘forest’, hence it escaped the floods caused by typhoon Hagibis.
Beneath Ryan 02 there is another restaurant; Matatabi. Matatabi is a soba restaurant, but they offer pizza making experiences for campers. There is also a work ‘share’ office and co-working space ‘Co-minca’. Finally, there is “Big Mouse”, a cafe in an old period house. September 4th 2023 – information for Big Mouse now added to the blog here.
Campsite: Saitama Tougetsuen ‘Peach Moon’ Camping Ground.
Season: all year round. However, they close for ten days over New Year, from December 27th to January 6th.
Hours: Check in from 11 am, check out 10 am
Cost: from 3000 yen
Venue: Saitama Tougetsuen Camping Ground, 3131 Nishiasuma, Nishi Ward, Saitama, 331-0061. View on Google Maps.
The campsite is in the middle of a flood field for the Ara river, beside Nishiasuma park. Nishiasuma park is a sports park with sports fields, such as baseball pitches. If you are finding it hard to locate Tougetsuen, once you navigate to Nishiasuma Park you are practically there! There are signs for both Nishiasuma Park and Tougetsuen once you get close to the location.
Tougetsuen was once a really tricky spot to get to. However, thankfully, Google Maps has improved greatly in the last four years. In 2019, maps tried to bring me along a footpath and then along a road that was closed for construction! Something to be aware of: there are a lot of one way roads in the area, plus railway tracks to get under or over. In addition, at the very end of the journey, you have to go up and over a river embankment and down on to the flood plains to get to the cafe.
By Public Transport
The nearest train station is Sashiogi Station on the Kawagoe Line. Thankfully another thing that Google Maps have improved since 2019 is the walking route! Previously, it showed a very convoluted route, but in 2023 it is showing a more straightforward walk. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to Tougetsuen from the station.
The most common way to come to Tougetsuen, for day trippers, is by bicycle. Tougetsuen is just off a popular cycle course along the Ara river embankments that run all the way from Tokyo to Kawagoe. They have plenty of bicycle stands.