Located in Omiya Park, the Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore is made up of three main parts: the exhibits, crafting and a free outdoor play area. This article concentrates on the latter two which do not have a cover charge to enter, and the free exhibits. The exhibit side of the museum, left of when you come in the door, has a cover charge.
Outdoor play area at the Museum of History and Folklore
The outdoor play area of the museum is a courtyard with some traditional Japanese activities, some physical activities, including cement pipes can climb through, and a couple of exhibits. The area is quite small. There is no charge to enter this area of the museum.
The sweet shop replica has some actual produce from the showa period. The pictured pump is still workable, but to conserve water they only have a small reserve in the well.
Kids can play with a selection of traditional Japanese toys such as koma, begoma and kendama. All pictured above. It is quite common for kids to start up an impromptu begoma competition. Adults sometimes participate too.
It is also quite common for adults to use the hula hoops in the courtyard! They have large sizes for adults and children’s sizes too. You can see tye dye handkerchiefs drying beside the hula hoop area. They were made in the crafting centre:
Crafting at the Museum of History and Folklore
There is a large crafting room on the “free side” of the museum. It is the main section of the indoor part of this area. It is free to spectate people crafting here, but there is a nominal fee to participate. As you can see from the above photo the most expensive is the straps that cost 350 yen.
Shibori Tie Dye workshop
The traditional Japanese Shibori tie dye experience is probably the most popular. It only costs 200 yen per person to participate.
Votive Prayer Plaques at the Museum of History and Folklore
Design your own prayer plaques for just 300 yen
Seasonal “Mini Art ” at the Museum of History and Folklore
Seasonal mini art class 100 yen per person
There are a handful of exhibits in the corridor beside the large crafting workshop.
You will also find the all important stamp rally supplies in this area. Stamps are a popular activity at prefectural museums and educational facilities. The stamps available at the Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore are pretty cool. They feature Kobaton, the mascot of Saitama, in traditional costumes.
Apart from the craft workshops, the museum has regular events. One of the (really really!) popular ones is the event where you can try on Japanese samurai armour. The next date for that is next weekend on February 16th. It costs 500 yen per person. You need to book in advance to secure a place.
There is a restaurant in the mezzanine on the free side of the museum, overlooking the retro play area in the courtyard. It sells fast food such as chahan and udon. Ice-cream too. You can also use this area without purchasing anything and even bring in your own food. There is a vending machine there. They have a baby diaper changing area and nursery in this area.
In summary, the Museum of History and Folklore is a nice stop on a day out in Omiya park with young children. For more to do in the park make sure to check out this article with information for all the other attractions in the park. Information section with hours, access, map etc hereafter:
Saitama Prefecture Museum of History and Folklore Information
Cost: The side that is charged costs 300 yen per adult.
Hours: The museum is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm most of the year, but during the months of July and August it opens until 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and at the end of the year from December 29th to January 1st.
Phone number: 048-641-0890
Access & Parking
The Saitama Prefectural museum of history and folklore is located in Omiya Park, beside the Omiya Archery range. Its also relatively close to some of the cherry blossoms.
By train the park’s closest train stations are “Omiya Kouen” or “Kita Omiya” stations on the Urban Park line. Both are an approximate 7 minute walk to the main park. Dai Ni and Dai san are a further 10 to 15 minutes away. JR Omiya station which is serviced by many train lines, is about a 20 minute walk (from the stations East exit).
The museum’s car park which is located beside the archery range and about a 2 minute walk to the entrance of the museum has about 12 car parking spots. But you can also use the free parking for the park. There is parking for 314 cars and an additional 7 spaces for wheelchair users and / or drivers with lower mobility.
General Information for Omiya Park
You can read a much more abbreviated version I wrote on City-cost.com: Place Review: Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, Omiya-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama | City-Cost