Wading river and splash pool at Saitama Children's Zoo saitama children's animal nature park

Wading pool Saitama Children’s Zoo – It is hard to believe it is already the time of year for wading pools and rivers. Las year, things were quite different with so much still unknown about the Coronavirus. Normally, the wading / splash pool in the Children’s Zoo opens for theRead More →

white peony at peony festival yakyu inari

Peony Festival at Yakyu Inari Shrine – Yakyu Inari Shrine is located in Higashimatsuyama, Saitama, just 1 hour and 10 minutes from Ikebukuro on the Tobu Tojo line.  It is one of many shrines to the God Inari. However, what makes it special is that its Chinese characters (“Yakyu” 箭弓) are pronouncedRead More →

Azalea Monomiyama Azalea festival

The Azalea (Tsutsuji in Japanese) on Monomiyama bloom from around mid April to early May. In fact, its not uncommon to be able to see some azalea as early as end of March. However, the main / prime viewing period doesn’t start until mid April. Higashimatsuyama have not yet announcedRead More →

Peony at Botanen Higashimatsuyama

Peony Festival in Botanen, Higashimatsuyama There are two famous Peony festivals in Higashimatsuyama. One in the gardens beside Yakyu Inari (the baseball shrine)  and one in Botanen park.  Botanen park has approximately 6500 peonies of 150 different varieties of peony. Making it the largest peony garden in all of Japan.Read More →

Iwadono Kannon Shoboji Higashimatsuyama

Iwadono Kannon is the most common name used for Shoboji temple in Higashimatsuyama. However, on Google maps its called Shōbōji and that is the name that has stuck with me. The legendary gingko tree at Shoboji is one of my personal favorite posts on this blog! But there is moreRead More →

ema market

The Batou Kannon Ema market is an only in Japan festival. Actually, there are only a few places in Japan that have an ema festival or market. Ema are the wooden prayer plaques you see at temples and shrines. Ema Market The ema market is referred to as ema-ichi inRead More →

New Year display at Higashimatsuyama Botanen with Japanese brolleys

Botanen Park in Higashimatsuyama is the largest peony garden in all of Japan. However, more than just a peony garden, it is also a small park with several things to offer: Botanen Park Introduction Winter flowers Spring and the Peony Festival Summer flowers Autumn colors Playground Barbecue Events Information BotanenRead More →

Yakyu Inari Hatsumode

Yakyu Inari Hatsumode – In 2020, we practiced Hatsumode at Yakyu Inari in Higashimatsuyama. It had been a few years since we had been there over the New Year and I was quite surprised by how much the crowds had increased in those years. For an explanation about Hatsumode, andRead More →

Ooka SHimin

Every November in Japan there are chrysanthemum festivals all around the country where you can see potted chrysanthemum displays. However, there are only a few places where you can actually see chrysanthemum flower beds. In Saitama anyway. One place you can see chrysanthemum growing in a manicured garden is theRead More →

higashimatsuyama samba carnival

Samba Carnival in Higashimatsuyama The Higashimatsuyama Samba Carnival is an annual festival held close to the Tobu Tojo Line Higashimatsuyama station. Due to the situation with the coronavirus outbreak, the 2020 carnival has been cancelled. The carnival takes place from 3 pm to 8 pm. The samba dancing starts fromRead More →