Akiha no mori Park – We stumbled across this park by accident while taking a respite from visiting a relative in nearby Saitama Iriyo Center. Unless you find it by accident as we did, you would need a car and a satnav (GPS) to get to this rural park in Nishi-ku (Saitama).
Yes the park, sporting facilities and even the barbecue area is open. The only change is that you cannot consume alcohol on the grounds during the period of the State of Emergency. That period is currently from Monday August 2nd to Tuesday August 31st. It maybe extended depending on the situation with the pandemic.
Akiha no mori park
It is a relatively new park, but the access roads are very old and very rural. If you are in the area with young kids, or are looking for a place to barbecue, it is worth a visit. It is also a nice place to walk. There is a nature reserve at the back of the park with a walkway through it. It is not looped though, just one path that cuts through.
There are two areas with playground equipment. As you come in to the main parking, in front of the baseball pitch, there is a combination equipment piece with climbing and slides among other things. There are also spring rides. There is also a playground in the BBQ area:
The barbecue area is very popular, particularly with families of small children as there is play equipment in the barbecue area. It is particularly suited to an Autumn or spring barbecue. As there are no water features it would get very hot in the summer. It costs 780 yen to book a pit / seating area for one day. The barbecue area is open for use from April to November. They have a multi-purpose ground, which is marked out for baseball, and a soccer pitch. You can book either of them. The latter costs money.
Near the main parking there is the “Center House” which manages the park. There are meeting rooms there that you can book to use. There are clean toilets there. I think they are the only toilets in the whole park.
Parking is free and abundant. It is spread out though. There are a few spots in front of the baseball pitch and front playground, but the main car park is past the pitches. This parking is a bit of a walk to the barbecue area. The car park is open from 9 am to 5.15 pm.
The park is located in Nishi Ward of Saitama City, but it is close to both Ageo and Kawagoe cities. Buses go relatively close on the Sashiogi side of the park.
Other parks in Saitama City: