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.
They usually host a children’s festival with water fight in the summer. But it hasn’t been on during the pandemic. They also normally have an ‘Autumn Festival’. In 2022 it is scheduled for October 22nd and 23rd. Moreover, on the morning of October 22nd they are unveiling a new statue of the town’s mascot.
Eight million cosmos used to grow in the fields across the road from the roadside station. And every Autumn they had a cosmos festival in the fields. They also had scarecrows up during this time. However, from 2020 – 2021 they had no festival because of the pandemic. And even worse still, in 2022 Yoshimi town announced they are discontinuing the cosmos festival and they will no longer grow cosmos in the fields:
Roadside Station Ichigo no Sato Information
Address: 1737 Kubota, Yoshimi, Saitama 355-0137
Access: approximately seven 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