Fukkuchan and festival stalls at Hanazono Roadside Station Fukaya

Festival floats, Fukkachan and strawberry picking at the excellent Hanazono Roadside Station in Fukaya.

Hanazono Roadside Station is close to the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu expressway. It is not on the highway, but a short distance on route 140 from the Hanazono exit / entrance of the highway, in the direction of the Saitama Museum of Rivers. Some of the roadside stations are more interesting than others and Hanazono is one of the better ones. It has attractions both indoors and outdoors, including a dog run and strawberry picking (in season) and is beside another facility with sweets galore and a rose garden.

Hanazono Roadside Station Fukaya

Roadside Station “Michi no Eki”

Roadside station (Michi no eki 道の駅) is the term used in Japan for a rest / service / parking area. In my experience roadside stations are generally the rest areas that are not on a high or expressway. Those are referred to as parking and/or service areas. Wikipedia tells me that roadside stations are not only rest areas, but they also function as an information and promotion center too. Hanazono Roadside Station in Fukaya certainly accomplishes that.

Festival floats on display at Hanazono Roadside station in Fukaya, Northern Saitama

The roadside station is like a shrine to Fukaya. It not only promotes local produce, but local merchandise and even tourist attractions too. And I don’t mean by form of brochures. There are three actual festival floats displayed in the main building of the rest area. And there is a Fukkachan, the mascot of Fukaya, shop on the upper floor in the main building.

Festival floats in Hanazono Roadside Station

The festival floats are the actual floats used in the Omaeda festival every year on October 15th. They are protected behind glass, but you can see them from three different points inside the building. You can even see them being refurbished and cleaned if you are there on a day that they are working on them. Currently, one of them has been totally dismantled for a refurbishment and you can see the work being done on it.

Fukkachan Museum in Hanazono Roadside Station

They called it the Fukkucham museum, but it is really just a store that sells novelty goods of the Fukaya’s city character. As you can see above they sell Fukkachan teddy bears as well as T-shirts, tote bags, towels, keyrings, confectionary and other novelty items. All with the character Fukkuchan embellished on them. A highlight of the shop though is that the city mascot often drops by. Kids also like the chalk wall on one end of the shop where they can draw.

Indoor Play Area

The indoor play area is on the upper floor of the main building beside the Fukkachan museum. It is just a small play area, but it has a some books and a TV too. There are even some English books.

Outdoor Playground

Playground at Hanazono Roadside Station in Fukaya, Northern Saitama Prefecture

The playground is small, but there is an open space beside it where kids can run around. It has a couple of slides, spring rides, a sandpit and some climbing. You can also walk over to the neighbouring Garden Forest which has a nice playground too (also small). Between the two there is a dog run.


Eateries at Hanazono Roadside Station

Popular bakery at Hanazono Roadside Station

There is a very popular bakery on the upper floor which always seems to have a queue. They give complimentary coffee with purchases. There is no eating space inside in this area, but they have a nice terrace area.

Obento and snacks at Hanazono Roadside Station in Fukaya

On the lower floor is a souvenir shop and a small shop selling take out food such as onigiri and yakisoba. They have an area here where you can sit too. And in a separate smaller building there is also somewhere you can sit and eat too. They have a couple of benches near the playground and a couple out the front of the main building.

Ice cream van Fukaya, Saitama

Outside there is an ice-cream van and some vending machines. And across the road there is an udon and soba restaurant, a farmers market and another bakery. If you walk in the opposite direction of those buildings, past the playground, you can also connect with Garden Forest Hanazono where there is various produce and more eateries. The eateries include a restaurant and a tofu speciality cafe.


Hanazono Strawberry Picking Farm

strawberry picking at roadside station Hanazono, Fukaya

There is also a strawberry picking farm at the roadside station. It is located right in front of the parking area. The farm operates between January and June, and unlike other farms, is open daily during the season. They are open from 9 am to 4 pm. They strongly recommend you book in advance, particularly for weekends and holiday periods. Official website with phone number and other contact details.

Even more picking farms in Northern Saitama.


Other points of interest

Inside the Hanazono roadside station

The shop on the ground level of the main building sells some really nice local produce and souvenirs.

Bonsai and greenery on sale at Roadside station hanazono Fukaya

Behind the main building there is a gardening shop that sells, among other things, reasonably priced bonsai.

Rest area at Hanazono Roadside Station

The rest area beside the toilets has somewhere to sit and eat as well as lots of information brochures and pamphlets.

Summary of what’s available

  • Bakery
  • Take out
  • Ice cream van
  • Shop
  • Playground
  • Indoor play area
  • Gardening Center
  • Fukkachan shop
  • Festival floats on display
  • Dog Run
  • Farmers Market
  • Garden Forest Hanazono
  • Strawberry Picking
  • Toilets
  • Smoking Area
  • Vending machines
  • Information point

Hanazono Roadside Station (Fukaya) Information

Hours of Hanazono Roadside Station

Hours: The main car park is open 24 hours, but “dai ni” (2nd) car park is open the same as the main building and eateries: 7 am to 7 pm

Address: 458-1 Omaeda, Fukaya-shi, Saitama-ken 369-1246
Plus code: 46CG+QW Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture

Telephone: 048-584-5225

Official website

Access

Minutes drive from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway.

Parking for 42 large vehicles and 367 cars plus 9 priority parking spots for persons with lower mobility and/or wheelchair users.

Nearby Attraction

The Saitama Museum of rivers is only minutes away by car:

Check out two of Saitama’s unique “Only in Saitama” themed parking areas:

2 Comments

    1. Haha! I was in a place over the New Year (with work) that’s cheapest bonsai is the price of a Lexus!! I should have said “relatively”!!

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