Chichibu Highland Ranch

Chichibu Highland Ranch, also known as Sai No Kuni Fureai Farm, is a free prefectural farm on top of a 766 meter high mountain ridge in Higashichichibu village. Located on an old mountain route that connects Ogawa and Higashichichibu to the Chichibu District, the drive itself is both beautiful andRead More →

A wooper looper axolotl at Saitama Aquarium

Saitama Aquarium in Hanyu It was a pleasant surprise revisiting Saitama Aquarium this past week. We hadn’t been in around eight years. And the last time was a bit of a disappointment so we left it this long to visit again. In the eight years since we’d been there thoughRead More →

Fishing with kids Kawajima town Saitama Japan

Fishing with kids – I’ll be perfectly honest; fishing is not my thing. But my kids love it. Normally my husband brings them, but I have been with them a couple of times. Including their last visit a couple of weeks ago. The kids were inched into a love ofRead More →

The new eco hauchu small animal enclosure at the saitama children's zoo animal nature park

New at / news for the Saitama Children’s Animal Nature Park, Autumn 2019. Saitama Children’s Animal Nature Park is the official name for Saitama Children’s Zoo, a 46 hectare zoo in the hills of Iwadono in Higashimatsuyama. Saitama Children’s zoo is one of the top attractions of the prefecture andRead More →

Great purple emperor butterfly the national butterfly of japan

It’s amazing what you learn when you spend your days out and about exploring your adopted second home. Who knew that the Great Purple Emperor “Oomurazaki” Butterfly is the national butterfly of Japan? I didn’t and wouldn’t have, had it not been for our serendipitous visit to the free butterflyRead More →

Ogano deer park and shrine in the biker town of Ogano in Chichibu Saitama

Ogano Deer Park is a small animal park on the site of Oshika shrine, more commonly known as the biker’s shrine. Ogano is named for the deer in the area, it quite literally means “small deer field”. Ironically, the area is not that well known for its deer, but isRead More →

White tiger image for Tobu Zoo post. From Pixabay

I’ve brought the kids to Tobu Zoo a few times over the years. Our initial visit was about seven years ago and we weren’t as impressed with the zoo side on that first visit. However, they have improved the zoo over the years and we have grown to like itRead More →

It was very surreal visiting the zoo at top of Mt Hodo. First impressions were good: nice entrance gate, photo props, friendly staff, great views…the taxidermied bear should have set off an alarm. But it wasn’t long until they were ringing loud and clear. Minutes into our visit, we allRead More →

Cat cafe neko katsu

Cat cafes have long been a part of Japan’s thriving foreign tourism industry. However, for the first few years of the cat and animal cafe boom, they were only available in the larger metropolitan cities. I am not sure when exactly Saitama got is first cat cafe. I’m not evenRead More →

Omiya Park

Omiya Park – original 2012 article revamped and republished in 2018. Omiya park has a lot to offer for a full family day of fun. There is a small free zoo where you can see the animals up close. Unfortunately, the playground in the park is a bit lacking, butRead More →