Information for the New branch of Glin Coffee near Kawagoe’s famous sunflowers and with secret sunflowers of their own! At the newly reopened Kawagoe Agriculture Interaction Center promoting “Green Tourism”. Last update September 1st 2023.
In November 2022 the Kawagoe City Agriculture Interaction Center was reopened after more than a year of renovations. The Agriculture Center has always been pivotal in sustainable living in the Isanuma area of Kawagoe. But the new center seeks to further promote green tourism in the area. Green Tourism is defined, by the World Trade Organization, as “tourism activities that can maintained or sustained indefinitely in their social, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.” The trendy Glin Coffee, a rapidly growing brand of Kawagoe, will play a key role in attracting visitors to the area. In addition, there is a new affordable barbecue area on one end of the center, with views of Isa Marsh past a manicured wide lawn. In summer, the photogenic sunflowers will be an added draw.
Glin Coffee Isanuma Green Tourism Branch
The Isanuma Green Tourism branch of Glin coffee has prime space in the center. Whether you sit indoors or out, you have a view of the lake and the lush lawn. Moreover, there are some cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and wisteria in view seasonally. Right now, one of the plum blossom trees has quite a few flowers on it:
Thanks to the high ceiling and dozens of windows / sliding doors, even inside feels open, light and airy. You can buy coffee, desserts, light snacks and even some local produce. Right now they have a seasonal winter beverage: a “Snow Chocola Berry Parazen”.
Secret Sunflowers Kawagoe
The sunflowers are on the opposite end of the center to the lake, lawn and Glin Coffee. But thanks to the architecture of the Agriculture Center, the back of the building actually accentuates the view of the sunflowers! The sunflowers are on the farming land of the center, a lot like what we call allotments back in Ireland. The land can be used by locals to grow fruits or vegetables.
The sunflowers at Kawagoe City Agriculture Interaction Center usually bloom in August annually. However, in 2023, it looks like they’ve been grown to bloom in (early) September. There are actually three completely different sunflower fields in this area of Kawagoe. One of which, by the marsh, became quite famous during the pandemic. Those usually grow in September and right beside them there is an area where summer sunflowers grow from early August. However, in 2023, they really mixed things up and the sunflowers were all grown at different times to ‘usual’. The ones by Isanuma marsh were grown in late July and early August in 2023 and are already finished this year. And these sunflowers are to bloom early September. See two paragraphs for September 1st update.
Even though the Agriculture Center was closed in 2022, they did actually grow the sunflowers. There was even a sunflower picking event. I did actually share the information for the sunflowers at the time, on social media and within the Isanuma Flower Garden sunflowers post. But now that the Agriculture center is back open, with a new trendy cafe, I’ve moved the information to this post. But the locations are really very close to each other. It only takes about ten minutes on foot from the Isanuma Flower Gardens sunflowers to the Agriculture Center sunflowers.
Sunflowers in 2023
September 1st 2023. There are two different areas with sunflowers behind the agri center. The one that is backdropped by the yellow building of the center are not quite full bloom yet. As you can see in photo 1, this year there are some scarecrows too. The other sunflowers, further back (middle and right photo above) are in full bloom. They will have an event on September 3rd and the sign in photo 3 reads, please do not enter the sunflower field until after the September 3rd event. However, you can pay 100 yen to pick sunflowers from September 2nd until September 10th. In addition, this year, you can pay 500 yen to rent the sunflower field for half an hour, presumably to take photos.
Kawagoe City Agriculture Interaction Center
Apart from Glin Coffee, the center has some meeting rooms, a hall and the aforementioned barbecue area. Currently, there is no information for the barbecue area, but I will add it when it becomes available. Presumably around March, in time for the Barbecue season which normally starts around April 1st.
Mostly the center has facilities for people using the allotments. So there are toilets, showers and changing rooms. They run some events during the year, which offer opportunities to try some agricultural experiences. For example, planting rice. There is a medium sized parking lot and a place to park bicycles too. In addition, on the east corner of the center grounds you can rent bikes:
Hello Cycling is actually quite expensive in other parts of Saitama and other prefectures, but in Kawagoe it is reasonably priced. It costs 60 yen per 15 minutes, but it is capped at 1000 yen for a full day (subject to change). Despite having a very English company name, they currently have no English information on their official website. Basically, you need to download the app or sign up on the web to use the bikes. But the inaccessibility of the app with some international phones, coupled with the lack of English / other languages, has led to quite a few negative reviews online from non-Japanese speaking users.
Venue: Kawagoe City Agriculture Interaction Center 川越市農業ふれあいセンター
Hours: 9 am to 5.15 pm
Cost: free to visit, sunflower viewing also free.
You can get a bus to relatively nearby – around a ten minute walk. If you get a bus bound for Ageo Station West, Kawagoe Sports Park or Kawagoe Medical center, alight at Kamoda 鴨田 bus stop. There is also a bus that goes to Isanuma Adventure Forest 伊佐沼冒険の森 (formerly just called Isanuma Park 伊佐沼公園) which is about a 20 minute walk from the center. The center has a free parking lot.