the running man at Glico factory Saitama

The Pocky Tour – Chances are, if you live in Saitama, you have heard about the famous Glico Pia East factory tour. Also known as the Pocky tour. It remains top of the list of free factory tours in Saitama (2015, down to #2 in 2017) and one of the best for the whole Kanto region (Greater Tokyo area). Due to its popularity, it is still necessary to book in advance. However, the good news is that the wait has been reduced from a year to a few months. We were able to get a booking both times 4 months in advance.

The Pocky Tour in 2022

The Pocky tour was closed to the public for much of 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Great news is, its back open. However, there have been some changes. For example, you can no longer bring children under three years old on the tour. Before the pandemic we visited twice with a baby and it was no problem. Unfortunately, they are quite strict about the no baby / toddler rule at the moment, because that age group can not wear a mask properly. Hopefully its only temporary during the pandemic.

Another big change is that you now need to be a member of the website to apply for a position on one of the tours. Only after becoming a member can you use the calendar to select the date and time you wish to visit the factory.

The pocky tour was on my wish list since it opened its doors in 2012. However, I was advised to wait to go until the kids were in primary school. In 2015, I just couldn’t wait any longer so I booked it for the whole family. At the time the kids were 5, 4, 2 and 0! (We visited again during Spring Break 2017). Much to my delight, everyone, myself included, enjoyed the tour much more than we thought we would. The tour is 70 minutes long. It includes a brief video, museum tour, tour of 2 lines of products and an interactive quiz game in a futuristic gaming room. In fact, the whole tour building has a futuristic feel.

Pocky Museum

The kids found the tour very intriguing, apart from a short video at the start of the tour. In the museum they have a display of 1,500 mini toys. The toys used to come with one of their products. They also have an old-fashioned vending machine. My son was lucky enough to try it out. It uses an old 5 yen coin that is no longer in circulation. In that area of the museum they have the brand symbol of the running man. The running man is synonymous with “that” billboard in Osaka which is somewhat of a tourist attraction these days!

The free factory tour

The free pocky and pretz factory tour in Saitama Prefecture

The beautifully presented tour guides explain each element in detail and allocate time for taking photos. There are some parts of the tour where you can’t take photos. They let you know which sections. The tour is in Japanese, but the whole tour is quite visual so I would not say it is essential to completely understand the language. (Japanese is required to book the free factory tour).  After the museum tour you move onto the factory element, where they show you two different line productions of Glico products. Following that you are led to the gaming room, where pairs sit at a table with buzzers of different colours representing different answers in an a, b or c type interactive game. The kids really loved that.

The Pocky workshop

After the interactive quiz the free part of the tour is over. You can, however, pay 500 yen per person to enjoy decorating your own giant Pocky. It is important to note that on a very busy day they limit the number of people who can do the make-your-own-Pocky. They decide at the very start of the tour who gets to do it.  They prioritise primary school students in higher grades.

We were very lucky that our 5, 4 and 2 year old were able to participate on the day we went. They absolutely loved decorating their own giant-sized Pocky and it was definitely the highlight of the morning for them.  You get a box to place your Pocky in and a bag of goodies with Glico products and inflatable Pocky.

pocky and pretz goods received on the Pocky Factory tour saitama
The running man guitar at the pocky factory tour

The factory is less than an hour from Tokyo and thanks to the extension of the Ken-O expressway, the factory is very accessible from other prefectures in Kanto too.  It is just 2 kilometres from the Okegawa-Kano exit of the Ken-O expressway. By public transport you can take a 12 minute bus ride bound for Glico Pia East from Kitamoto Station on the JR Takasaki line.

The Pocky Tour Information

OPEN: Saturday to Thursday (closed on Fridays)

TOUR TIMES: 9.30, 11.00, 12.30, 14.00

BOOKING: 048-593-8811 or online:

Membership application (necessary since winter 2021 / 2022)

Update 2020: the official website now has a basic PDF English brochure available here.

ADDRESS: 〒364-0013 Saitama Prefecture, Kitamoto, 中丸9丁目55

Another chocolate factory tour not to miss in Saitama Prefecture.


  1. Hi, may I know how do reservation at glicopia east?

    1. Author

      Hi Yvonne,
      do you read or speak Japanese? They don’t have English language support officially, but you could try calling 048-593-8811 between 9:30AM and 4:30PM you might be lucky and get someone with some English. They aren’t open on Fridays. If you read Japanese, there is a form you can fill out on the Internet. First you need to look through the calendar and find an open space. I just took a quick look and they have a few free spots after June 4th, not on weekends though. They are completely booked up from mid July to end of August already, due to summer holidays. After you pick your date, you’ll be brought to a booking form you need to fill out.

      Good luck! And thank you for commenting.

    1. Author

      Hi, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, you can’t just email to book, you have to fill out the form. It is the fixed pop-up in red on that page. Circled in yellow on the photo below. Good luck! Pocky Tour booking - where to click

      1. Hi.
        Thanks for your prompt reply. After filling up the form ( I will to use translator ) , then wait for them to email me back ? Wanted to go early oct. Thanks !

        1. Author

          Hi! Once you go into the booking area you will be shown a calendar at one point which shows which time slots on which days are free and you choose your preferred time. You will get an automatic email right after you have completed the form to confirm your email address and then again after you have acknowledged your email with your booking details. Good luck!

          1. Thanks for your help! hope i can book oct in the later date !

  2. Hi, like to check how long does the whole tour takes? Would like to know so that I know whether to plan for other activities after this. Thank you.

    1. Its 70 minutes for the factory tour and about 30 to 40 minutes extra if you want to decorate your own Pocky. There is also a shop on the grounds, that is quite small so you’d only need about 10 minutes to peruse there. So all in all you’d want to allocated two hours for the outing.

  3. Hi, may I know if there’s an option for the tour to be conducted in English? Thanks.

    1. Hi, occasionally they offer the tour in English, but as far as I know you cannot request it for a small group. Maybe you could try mailing them through their website just in case.

  4. Thanks. Do you happen to know their email address? I can’t find it on their website.

    1. Hi, sorry for my late response, we are traveling at the moment. Unfortunately my files are in Japan and I won’t be back there until August 23rd. I can send it then if it’s not too late?

      1. Hi, no, not too late. I’m only going end of the year. Thanks in advance.

  5. This is so cool. I saw Pocky in the store 5 minutes ago. I also see it all over the world thru my travels.

    1. We had so much fun on the tour. Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing on Twitter

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