Ichigo no Sato is a “roadside station” in the prefecture of Saitama, North west of Tokyo. A roadside station, michi no eki in Japanese, is a type of rest and service area with a large parking area. Roadside stations are those that are on national routes. The equivalent on highways are called parking and / or service areas.
Roadside Station Ichigo no Sato
At Ichigo no Sato there are the usual facilities present in all roadside station of toilets, benches and vending machines. That is the bare minimum at these type of places. But at roadside station Ichigo no Sato there is also a gift shop, a vegetable shop, a farmer’s market, a shop selling rice, a strawberry greenhouse, an ice-cream van and several other eateries As well as a really great playground.
Food at Ichigo no Sato
There is an udon restaurant in the main building. In the main car park there is a bakery cum coffee shop, Kitaoka bakery, with a small area to sit indoors and outdoor seating also. There are also some eateries in log cabins along one walkway.
We go for the ice-cream (and the playground)! One of the popular products on sale is “Ichigo Nama Dorayaki”, which is like a type of strawberry filled pancake. There is an information stand with information for Yoshimi in the building behind the ice-cream van, it also provides a list of all strawberry picking greenhouses in the area. Yoshimi is number one for strawberries in Saitama.
The playground has a roller slide from a small hill and another roller slide within the main playground equipment. There is also a steep slide in the main piece of equipment. In 2016 they added a new colorful piece of equipment, picture below, that has tunnel slides too. Other equipment includes spring rides, climbing with ropes and a wooden bridge.
There are a few cherry blossoms around the playground and also on one side of the car park. However, just a 5 minute drive away, there is a beautiful avenue of cherry blossoms with rapeseed.
Eight million cosmos grow in the fields across the road from the roadside station. And every Autumn there is a cosmos festival in the fields. They also have scarecrows up during this time. However, in 2020 on account of the Coronavirus this event will not go ahead:
Roadside Station Ichigo no Sato Information
Address: 1737 Kubota, Yoshimi, Saitama 355-0137
Access: 7 kilometres from Kanetsu Expressway’s Higashimatsuyama Interchange.
Hours: Playground is open all year round, but shops are open 9 am to 5 pm, restaurants are open 11 am to 3 pm on weekdays and until 4 pm on weekends.
Other attractions in Yoshimi
- Eat: Ghibli-esque Herbal House | YOSHIMI
- Eat: Natural Cafe Sora | YOSHIMI
- See: Hatchoko Park | YOSHIMI
- See: Off the beaten path spider lily viewing | YOSHIMI
- Play / see / do: Luminous Moss, Military Factory and the 100 Caves of Yoshimi
- See: Cherry blossoms and Rapeseed Yoshimi
- See: Children love the Fresa Yoshimi Night Illumination
- Do / eat: Strawberry Picking in Yoshimi, Saitama
- See: Anrakuji Yoshimi Kannon
- See: Iwamuro Kannon | YOSHIMI