Purple Mountain

Mitsuba Azalea Garden, the “Purple Mountain” of Saitama Prefecture – We’ve been uncovering several of Saitama secret gems these past few weeks. Today’s adventure brought us on to the Purple Mountain “Murasaki Yama” in Ogose Town. Three thousand Mitsuba Azalea – Rhododendron dilatatum – over three hectares of a privatelyRead More →

Azalea Monomiyama Azalea festival

Azalea Monomiyama Park – In the last week of March (2020) I brought the kids to Monomiyama Park in Higashimatsuyama for an off the beaten path hanami. The cherry blossoms in the park are beautiful, but as they are in quite a remote location (although close to the children’s zoo)Read More →

Cherry blossoms Sakitama

Cherry blossoms Sakitama – One of Saitama’s famous cherry blossom viewing spots is the Sakitama Tomb Park in Gyoda City. Sakitama Kofun Park Sakitama Kofun Park is a medium sized park designed around the ancient burial mounds unearthed at the site. Kofun is the Japanese for burial mound. There areRead More →

Senbonzakura Torayama Higashichichibu

Senbonzakura, the name of a famous song, is the Japanese for a thousand cherry blossoms. There are many spots or parks in Japan called Senbonzakura. In Saitama, one of the most stunning Senbonzakura locations is on Mt Torayama in Higashichichibu. The Senbonzakura of Torayama There are actually just under twoRead More →

Jougaya Embankment Cherry Blossom Bank Kitamoto

Jougaya Embankment Cherry Blossom Bank (Jougaya Tsutsumi Sakura Dote in Japanese), Kitamoto City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Jougaya Embankment Kitamoto City, on the eastern tip of the central area of Saitama Prefecture, has several cherry blossom viewing spots. One of the best known is the Jougaya Tsutsumi Cherry Blossom Bank sandwichedRead More →

Cherry blossoms and rapeseed Yoshimi March 23rd 2020

Cherry blossoms and Rapeseed in Yoshimi Town, Hiki District, Saitama. There are several places you can see cherry blossoms and rapeseed in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Kumagaya and Gongendo Park in Satte are probably the most famous. And for good reason as the scenery is truly stunning. ButRead More →

Cherry blossom viewing Saitama 2020

Cherry blossom viewing in Saitama in 2020. At the time of writing this post on March 18th 2020 cherry blossoms around the prefecture have started to open. Some are more advanced the others, some are in full bloom and most of the early blooming Kawazuzakura are finished. Covid-19 The GovernmentRead More →

Coronavirus Japan

Coronavirus Japan. An opinion piece on why Japan has so few Covid cases from a long term resident of Japan. I have been living in Japan for 20 years, permanently since 2006. I was here after the triple disaster of March 11th 2011, which gave insight into how Japan handlesRead More →

Extended closures Saitama due to Covid19

Covid19 Saitama – This is the list of places that have re-opened or remained closed after the initial round of Covid19 closures in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Jump to open places. Covid19 Closures Saitama At the end of February 2020 dozens of places in Saitama Prefecture announced theyRead More →

Honda Airport plane and nanohana canola flowers

Arakawa Tarouemon and Honda Airport ~ In the midst of Covid-19 there are few places that feel safe. Indoors is definitely off the table. And this past week we’ve learned that the numbers of people in parks and cherry blossom locations also pose a risk. Even if those type ofRead More →