Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a frequented wooded area in a rural suburb of Kawagoe. It’s official name is Isanuma park, but recently people refer to it as Isanuma Bouken No Mori. 「冒険の森」Bouken no Mori means “adventure forest” and it refers to the wooded area in the park with an adventure playground. Although, the park is small and with few residential properties around, it has good facilities for its size and is well used.
Living in Kawagoe with kids
The park is very beneficial for people living in Kawagoe with kids, but it is quite a distance from the tourist area of Kawagoe. It is not ideally suited for a stop off for a day tripper to Kawagoe. Especially if you are on foot and / or using public transport. However, if you are touring Kawagoe in a car and are coming from Omiya on route 16 you pass close enough to stop off. Similarly, if you go as far as Miyoshino Shrine or Honmaru Goten, the park is only a six minute drive away.
Isanuma Park adventure playground
The adventure forest Kawagoe has a lovely playground suitable for primary school age children, but younger children can also enjoy much of the equipment. What the Japanese call “athletic playgrounds” is what we call “adventure playgrounds” in Ireland. In 2015 the adventure playground was upgraded with some new equipment, which replaced older pieces. Regrettably, currently (2018) some of the remaining older pieces of the playground are broken. Including the tree house slide. Whether they will replace the pieces or not remains to be seen. However, there are still plenty of other pieces of equipment in working order.
Isanuma’s playground is geared for 6 to 12 year olds, but I think kids from 3 up are well able for the challenge. And its a great challenge for adults too. You often find adults working out on the equipment when there are few kids around.
Isanuma park through the seasons
Apart from the popular adventure playground, the park also has a splash pad, a craftsman workshop, a barbecue area (temporarily unavailable on account of coronavirus) and an open space for playing. On the North end of the park, there are tennis courts, a small hotel, an event space and cafe. A bridge links the park to a wildlife reservation marsh on the East. The lake often has photographers stationed around it to capture the protected birds that live there.
Spring at Isanuma Park
In spring the mature cherry blossoms on the avenue between the park and the marsh are stunning. To the south of the park there is a river which also has picturesque cherry blossoms (more on the cherry blossoms here). Beyond the river there are just agricultural fields. And to the west is an industrial area which is bustling on weekends, but quiet on weekends.
Autumn in Isanuma Park
Isanuma Park is a largely wooded area, but some of the trees are evergreen. However, there are other varieties of tree whose leaves change colour in Autumn. There are a lot of oak trees in the park which not only give a lovely orange colour in autumn, they also provide an ample supply of acorns in early Autumn. It is a great spot for collecting acorns in October and early November.
Summer in Isanuma Park
In summer, the trees of the wood and its position by a river and lake make it a little cooler than central Kawagoe. There are some Gazebos in the woods too, affording extra shade. The main attraction for families is the water play: a splash pool and wading river. The paddling pool part is only partly in the shade, but the wading river enjoys good cover from the burning sun. Another attraction during summer is the BBQ facilities. However, you need to have a local in your group to be allowed book a coveted BBQ spot. In mid-July, every other year Kawagoe’s fireworks display are launched from this park.
If you visit in September, don’t miss the nearby Isa Marsh Community garden with beautiful autumn sunflowers.
The park starting hosting monthly flea markets recently. There are several different flea markets in Kawagoe in a given month. This particular one at Isanuma Park is organized by Kawagoe Flea Market Kisha Poppo. They also occasionally host flea markets at Kawagoe Park. The flea market at Isanuma has a lot of handmade goods. There are usually around 30 stalls. The next markets are on:
- Sunday March 5th between 9 am and 2 pm. Official web page.
- April 2nd, which will hopefully coincide with the sakura season. The cherry blossoms in Isanuma Park are beautiful mature trees along the riverbank.
- May 7th
Isanuma Park Information
Address: 584 Numata, Isanuma, Kawagoe 〒350-0855 埼玉県川越市 大字伊佐沼字沼田町584
TEL: +81 49-222-1301
By car: The park is not on a major road or route, but it is close to route 16 where it merges to route 254. Parking is available on two sides of the park. The most convenient and largest is the parking lot opposite the marsh. As per photo above, the car park closes at 7 pm from March to September, but from October to February it closes at 5 pm. There is also parking along the west side industrial area and by the small hotel and tennis courts on the North end of the park.
By Bus: Take a bus for Kawagoe Green Park and alight at Isanuma Bouken no Mori, approximately 5 minutes walk from bus stop.
In the area
We often go to this park on our way to or from either the OK or Gyomu discount stores. The Gyomu store used to be on route 16, but just moved to route 254 close to Miyoshino shrine. Saitama Medical Center is only a kilometer away. Kawagoe Sports Park is also nearby.