Hodosan shrine

Hodosan shrine, one of my top ten favorite shrines of all time, is one of those rare shrines that is well worth going out of your way to visit. Apart from its intriguing 1900 year history, the beauty and detail of the shrine and the grounds will captivate you inRead More →

Jomine Park Campsite / Camping ground Saitama prefecture Japan

Jomine Park (or Jyomine Park) on Mt Jomine, by Lake Kanna and the Shimokubo dam in Kamikawa, Saitama on the border of Fujioka City, Gunma. Jomine Park It was a dream come true finally staying in Jomine Park Camping grounds during the winter cherry blossom and autumn leaf season. TheRead More →

Ryokami sanroku camping ground Ogano Chichibu

Ryokami Sanroku Camping Ground is an old style riverside camping ground with cabins, deep in a mountain valley and cocooned by forest. The campsite is an isolated area of Ogano that has for the most part escaped tourism development. I think it is the most remote location in Saitama thatRead More →

Stairs to the tomb of the unknown soldiers of the world

Ogose town is full of surprises. This year we have visited the town several times and unearthed lots of hidden treasures. Such as the purple mountain, the crying dam, Cafe St Gallen (Kuroyama Kosenkan) to name but a few. Last year, when visiting Godaison, one of Ogose’s better known attractions,Read More →

the three waterfalls of Kuroyama

Kuroyama is a beautiful, mystical, rugged area of Ogose town. It is best known for the three waterfalls of Kuroyama (Kuroyama Santaki), which were once ranked as the 9th most scenic waterfalls in Japan. They don’t enjoy as much fame these days and the area – while beautiful – doesRead More →

Crying dam mannequin pis monkey ogose akasakasawa dam

The crying dam and mannequin pis, Akasakazawa Dam, in the woods of the Kosugi area of Ogose hiking Town, Saitama Prefecture. The crying dam The Akasakazawa Dam is a dam of the Akasaka river, a tributary of the larger Mugihara river. It is nicknamed (and better known as) the cryingRead More →

Nature spot tokigawa Sanba Gorge Sanba Ravine

Sanba Keikoku – Known in English as either Sanba Gorge, Sanba Valley or Sanba Ravine. It is a beautiful ravine in nature rich Tokigawa, Saitama Prefecture (Japan), North West of Tokyo. Despite the town’s remote location the area is serviced by a (infrequent) train. The station, Myokaku station, is aRead More →

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 →

Senbonzakura Torayama Higashichichibu close to the earthly paradise of ouchizawa

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 →