Ranzan Valley Barbecue Site

Review of and information for the Ranzan Valley BBQ Area on the Tsuki River.

Ranzan Valley barbecue area is a popular riverside day camp destination in the scenic area of the countryside in Hiki District, Saitama. It is frequently voted as one of the top Barbecue spots in Kanto. It is commutable from Tokyo and attracts day trippers from around the Kanto plain. In 2023, the autumn leaves festival will be on for two weeks (rather than one day as per 2021 and 2022) for the first time in five years. The barbecue area is open right up until the end of the autumn leaf season. Moreover, it will open on weekends from the end of January to the end of March for the winter season.

Barbecue area on Tsuki river

Ranzan Valley barbecue area is off the international tourist trail, but well known among domestic tourists. For eight years in a row it ranked number one for barbecue spots in the Kanto area on JTB Rurubu’s site. It even won the coveted number one position for the whole of Japan two years running.

Country BBQ Ranzan Valley Barbecue Site Saitama

However, in my humble opinion, it is not the best barbecue site in the area. It is convenient because it has more facilities, more shaded areas and is more scenic than a lot of the other BBQ areas in the Hiki District. They also have a nice barbecue rental area, off the stone beach in a designated area, where you can stone grill under a shaded area. And is along the Tsuki River, which is renowned as one of the cleanest in Saitama Prefecture.

Ranzan Valley brick grills rental area for a country BBQ

However, the site is also twice the price of most other barbecue sites. It costs 1000 yen for parking for cars. Moreover, since 2021, due to the Government’s urban / regional revitalization program, you now also have to pay a facility usage fee of 500 yen. In addition, there are rental costs for using the barbecue area. The rental costs are pretty standard though – 3000 yen for a brick grill, 1,500 for a stone grill. You can also rent smaller grills and barbecue equipment. Even sun brolleys, tables and chairs. And you can book a fully inclusive barbecue with food provided too.

The main advantage of this site for me is its location and proximity to seasonal attractions. For example, it is close to the cherry blossoms and horseback archery events that take place in Spring. And it is right beside poppies that bloom in late April and lavender that blooms in June. It is also close to the butterfly park – Ranzan is home to the national butterfly of Japan. Furthermore, you can walk along the riverside for a short cut to the autumn leaves.

Ranzan Valley

Video from the Saitama Prefecture Tourist Board

In Autumn the Ranzan valley is absolutely breathtaking dressed in shades of gold, orange and red. It is known as the “Arashiyama of Musashi Country” due to its resemblance of Kyoto’s famous Arashiyama area. Its a great place to get shots of the autumn leaves reflected in the Tsuki River.

The Ranzan Valley Barbecue area gives access to the hiking trails. Although there are other places you can park for free, at least with the barbecue site you have some facilities and you know your car is safe.

Ranzan Valley BBQ Facilities

  • Management office
  • Information area
  • Barbecue rental
  • Fully inclusive barbecue available (with food provided)
  • Barbecue rental area with shade and seating areas
  • Sinks for washing dishes
  • Toilets
  • Shop selling river play goods as well as drinks and other necessities
  • Rest area
  • Vending machines
  • Rubbish collection
Ranzan Valley Designated rubbish area

With the 1000 yen you pay for car parking you get rubbish bags for sorting your trash and handing in on your way home. In autumn the car park is half price, but you don’t get any rubbish bags and you can’t use the barbecue facilities.

Impressions

Ranzan Valley BBQ area has more facilities than a lot of other riverside barbecue areas in the Hiki District, but this section of the river isn’t as clean as other places along the Tsuki River. But it is a good spot to get out of the city and enjoy a country BBQ. The river beach is very stony though. And when we visited today the river bed was very slimy and also very smelly. However, it was after heavy rain and I did see some workmen getting ready for a clean up. On other visits the water has been clear and better than other rivers in the area. However, further upstream, such as in Ogawamachi and Higashichichibu, the Tsuki River is even clearer and cleaner.

Ranzan Valley Barbecue Site on Tsuki River Ranzan Saitama BBQ Things to do in Saitama commutable from Tokyo

My four year old loves playing in water, but she wasn’t very enamored with Ranzan Valley. We both liked further upstream where there is no space for camping out, just the river and the scenery. We left the Ranzan car park after just an hour – most of which we spent walking in the area. But we both LOVED our next stop…

If you just want a barbecue near the river, rather than on it, I recommend Fukurou No Mori which is only minutes away. You can also access the picturesque part of the river, right by the stepping stones, from this site. My four year old loved it there. It is a glamping style, all inclusive barbecue – just bring yourself and the rest is taken care of. Or you can just use their outdoor cafe, which we did today.

For a riverside barbecue or country BBQ, the Kurakake barbecue area in Higashi-matsuyama is a much better spot in my humble opinion. However, it is currently closed for river work, but it is due to open back up on April 1st 2024. Although it is pretty, it is not quite as scenic as Ranzan, but the river is much cleaner and the riverside is more suited to pitching tents and tarps. However, if you want to hike and explore too, Ranzan is better. It really depends what you are looking for and time of year too.

Other River BBQ areas in Saitama

Ranzan Valley BBQ Area Information

Ranzan Valley BBQ Area hours

Season: the official season is from April until December, but in 2024 it will open from January 27th to March 31st on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays only.

Hours: open Saturday to Thursday from 9 am to 4.30 pm between April and the end of September. The car park closes at 4 pm from October 1st for the rest of the year and during the month of March too. Closed on Fridays except for during the summer holiday, Golden Week and Autumn leaf periods. For the winter dates it opens at 10 am on the dates in January and February and from 9.30 am in March.

Ranzan Valley BBQ area cost

Cost: 1000 yen for cars, 400 yen for bikes for one day during barbecue season. The parking used to be 500 yen during “koyo” autumn leaves season in a normal year, because you couldn’t barbecue. But now that you can, the fee is 1000 yen even if you are not barbecuing yourself. Also, please note that you can’t go out and come back on the same ticket. If you leave the car park once, you have to pay again to get back in. Moreover, please note that since August 1st 2021, there is now a 500 yen facility usage fee for all visitors over the age of 15 to the barbecue area of the valley.

Rental costs vary depending on what you are renting. You can see individual costs of equipment (with pictures) here. The barbecue brick grills and the fully inclusive barbecue (food provided) require booking in advance.

Address: 2857 Kamagata, Ranzan, Hiki-gun, Saitama 355-0225

Phone: 0493-62-4152

Official website

Ranzan Valley Tsuki River Access

A scenic 40 minute walk from Musashi Ranzan station on the Tobu Tojo Line.

About eight kilometers from both the Higashimatsuyama and Ranzan Ogawa Interchanges of the Kanetsu expressway.

2 Comments

    1. Haha, very true. Part of their charm!? But I don’t like when they are overgrown cause I’m afraid of brushing off a snake!!

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