tokorozawa sakura town opening in July 2020 insaitama

A succinct guide of Tokorozawa Sakura Town, Japan’s newest and coolest pop culture town.

Sakura Town Shin Tokorozawa is part of the Cool Japan Forest Project, an initiative between Kadokawa Corporation and Tokorozawa city. It is located in Saitama Prefecture, very close to Tokyo. The development includes a library museum (with bookshelf theater), and an atypical shrine to name but three of the cool attractions. In addition, next door in the Higashi Tokorozawa Park there is a permanent TeamLab Art installation “Acorn Forest”, which unfortunately is closing down on January 8th 2024. The town also has dozens of anime manhole covers, some of which are lit up at night. Events abound, both daily and seasonal, meaning there is always something new to do or see in this entertainment town.

This post was written in advance of the opening and was the very first article in English about the complex. It has been updated several times, after visiting it multiple times, with even more information and the latest events / news. Last update: November 29th 2023, after Kadokawa announced the teamlab is closing.

Tokorozawa Sakura Town

The Tokorozawa Sakura Town Cool Japan Forest Project development includes shops, restaurants, a factory, offices, a public open space, event space and a shrine. Moreover, there is the excellent Kadokawa Culture Museum, which has several exhibition spaces, such as the Grand Gallery, the EJ Anime Museum and the Edit and Art Gallery. (The links lead to an article in English with the most recent exhibition information). The impressive resort was originally supposed to open on July 17th 2020, but the opening event was pushed back to November 6th on account of the pandemic. For the one year anniversary in 2021, the first Pokemon Manhole Covers in Saitama Prefecture were unveiled.

There was an anime hotel at the resort until 2023, but unfortunately it closed down due to lack of business. In addition, the teamlab Acorn Forest will close on January 8th 2024.

Sakura Town Events

A Japanese oni in front of the torii of Musashino Reiwa Shrine for a Setsubun festival
Japanese “oni” for the setsubun festival, February 3rd

Moreover, the entertainment town also runs several events concurrently. Apart from events within the individual premises, there are also general events. For example, in Autumn they have a Halloween Kids Fes and in winter a night illumination event. Another example is the Christmas market and events held in December. They also celebrate New Years, cherry blossom season, Setsubun… etc. They also have a splash pool in summer (more on that further down). Upcoming events:

Beetle exhibition at Tokorozawa Sakura Town summer holidays 2024
There is a Anime Character T-shirt fair, including Dragonball, One Piece and Naruto, for the month of June. Official event page.

During the summer holidays they will have a Beetle Exhibition on in the Japan Pavilion. There will be real live beetles too, that children can interact with. The exhibition is on from Saturday July 20th to Sunday August 4th 2024. Entry costs 900 yen for anyone over 12 years old and 500 yen for children aged between 4 and 12 years old.
Official event page.
Tokorozawa Sakura Town Events 2024

When did Tokorozawa Sakura Town open?

By and large, you can say it opened in the autumn of 2020. But different parts of the entertainment town opened on different dates. For example;

  • Kadokawa Culture Museum
  • Teamlab Acorn Forest – August 1st 2020 and will close on January 8th 2024.
  • Kadokawa Restaurant – August 3rd 2020
  • Musashino Jurin Cafe – mid September 2020
  • Anime Hotel – October 1st 2020 and closed permanently on May 31st 2023.
  • Da Vinci Store – November 6th 2020
  • 28 Anime LED Manhole Covers – around August 2020
    • Pokemon Manhole Covers – November 2021
    • NEW November 17th 2022: the 10th annual Manhole Summit
Pokemon Manhole Covers, Tokorozawa Sakura Town. Source: PR Times

Grand Opening of Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Moreover, the grand opening of the Tokorozawa Sakura Town was on November 6th 2020. There were several events for the special occasion. For example, the much anticipated EJ anime museum opened with a Newtype Anime Chronicle event. Other spaces and galleries within Kadokawa Culture Museum also opened with unique exhibitions, such as the Ken and Julia Yonetani exhibition. In addition, the second exhibition in the grand gallery started on the opening day of Sakura Town. It was the highly successful Yokai Pandemonium exhibition by author Hiroshi Arahata.

Tokorozawa Sakura Town

And in the main building of the town there was an anime camp. Visitors received a commemorative present from the organizers. In addition, anime characters were on site for character greetings and special exclusive photo spots. As well as food booths and exclusive merchandise sales. Also within that building the Da Vinci store opened on the 6th. Furthermore, they had a special signature event for the opening.

The Complete Guide to Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Kadokawa Musashino Museum

The museum, called Kadokawa Musashino Museum or Kadokawa Culture Museum (Kadcul for short), combines a library, galleries and museums. It looks absolutely stunning. It has multiple floors and the library has nine areas including a Bookshelf Theater. Initially they were calling it a “forest of books”, but they changed the name around July 2020.

Kadokawa Musashino Museum at Tokorozawa Sakura Town opening July 2020 Also Cool Japan shrine and anime hotel

Within Kadokawa Museum the museums and galleries are all run separately. There is always something to do or see. For example, the anime museum hosts different exclusive exhibitions a couple of times a year. You can keep abreast of the most current exhibition in the EJ Anime Museum in this post here. The Grand Gallery is the main exhibition hall. The Grand Gallery also hosts several different exhibitions within a year. You can get information for the current (or upcoming) exhibition here.

It is strongly recommended that you book in advance for any of the exhibitions at Kadokawa Culture Museum, especially on the weekend. Each exhibition and part of the facility have different costs, but on average budget for around 2000 yen per adult.

Water play

sign saying the water play area in Tokorozawa sakura town
Notification on May 18th to say you can now use the water feature to paddle your feet!

The water feature beside the Kengo Kuma designed Kadokawa Museum turns into a paddling pool in the hotter months! In 2024 you can wade in the small pool of water from Saturday April 27th to the end of September. However, there will be times when it closes suddenly due to weather, cleaning or other mitigating factors. On the days that it is open you can use it between 10 am and 6 pm. More water play areas in Saitama Prefecture.

Cool Japan Shrine

Torii lit up at Tokorozawa Sakura Town

The shrine is a modern type shrine that they call the “Cool Japan” shrine in English! Its actual name is Musashino Reiwa Shrine. At night they light up the large torii and in summer it blows cool mist. The fortune telling light up started out as a seasonal event, but it proved to be so popular they never stopped it! In December they have additional light up features for Christmas and the 12 meter high Christmas tree gets switched on in early November. >>More on this unique shrine<<

EJ Anime Hotel

Unfortunately, the EJ Anime Hotel closed permanently on May 31st 2023.

LED Anime Manhole Covers

The anime theme can even be seen in the manhole covers. Furthermore, they are all made with LED lights so they glow at night. Tokorozawa Sakura Town has 28 different anime manhole covers, all based on anime by the publishing giant behind the town: Kadokawa. Including two Gundam manhole covers. There was a special Gundam exhibition in the EJ Anime Museum of Kadokawa in January and February of 2022. One manhole features Amuro Ray and Gundam, the other Char Aznable and Zaku, both pictured below. Hopefully over the years we’ll see a special exhibition for each anime featured in the manhole covers of Tokorozawa Sakura Town! Most of the manhole covers are on the walk from the station to Higashi Tokorozawa park.

The manhole covers were added in November 2020 in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of Tokorozawa as a city. Moreover, for the one year anniversary of the entertainment town, in November 2021, they unveiled Pokemon Manhole Covers. These were the first Pokemon manhole covers in Saitama.

The 10th Annual Manhole Summit

Manhole Summit in Tokorozawa Sakura Town
From the official website

Tokorozawa Sakura Town hosted the tenth annual Manhole Summit on Saturday November 19th 2022. At this event you can see dozens of manhole displayed, like pictures on picture stands! They give manhole cover cards to attendees of the summit. Hopefully it will run this popular event again in the future. Official event web page. Thank you very much to Yoko Lost in Japan for giving me the heads up about this event. Check out Yoko Lost in Japan’s blog here and her Youtube here. You can also find her on Instagram.

Team Lab Acorn Forest

In the Higashitokorozawa park area of the resort there is a permanent outdoor exhibition by Teamlab. Saitama Prefecture was actually the very first place in all of Japan to get an indoor Teamlab… unfortunately that particular one closed down in 2020 due to the pandemic. And unfortunately, the outdoor exhibition is also closing down – on January 8th 2024.

Tokorozawa Sakura Town 2023 Information

Apart from all of this there are also restaurants, cafes and other entertainment facilities and shops in the Tokorozawa Sakura Town.

Address: 〒359-0023 Saitama, Tokorozawa, Higashitokorozawawada, 3 Chome−31−3

Phone: +81570017396

Cost: there is no charge to walk around Sakura Town. However, if you want to see any of the exhibits in Kadokawa Museum or hang out at the Teamlab, there is a cover charge. Budget for around 2000 yen per exhibit. You can see the most up-to-date prices in the official link below. Or for Teamlab, I update this post frequently.

Access: about a ten minute walk from Higashi Tokorozawa station. Anime themed LED Manhole Covers light the way to the complex from the station!

Parking available – it costs 200 yen for 30 minutes, but capped at 600 yen on weekdays and 1800 yen on weekends.

Some of the images on this post are from the official website

Sakura Town articles on this blog

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