From yesterday’s very Japanese parking area in Hanyu to today’s quintessentially not Japanese parking area in Yorii. Yorii Little Prince parking area may not be a timeslip like Onihei Edo Dokoro parking area in Hanyu, but it is also an atypical parking area with lots of charm of its own. And both can boast the proud claim of “only in Saitama” themed parking areas.
The Yorii Little Prince parking / service area on the Kanetsu Expressway is named after the character in the famous French novels of the same name “Little Prince”. Like Onihei parking area on the Tohoku expressway that I introduced yesterday, Yorii Little Prince parking area is themed on the central character. And this is reflected in both the design and the produce. The Little Prince is not particularly well known or loved in Japan, but he does have a fanbase here. Accordingly, there are a handful of Little Prince themed facilities dotted around the country.
The parking area is quite small, but it is very picturesque. To me the appearance is more Spanish than French, but they succeeded in conjuring a Europe feel with the facade. There are Little Prince motifs and props throughout the parking area. The cafe and restaurant are also designed in mediterranean style. And much of the produce keeps with the European theme. Their number one selling souvenir is Little Star cookies in star shaped packaging.
The Kanetsu Expressway links Tokyo to Niigata through Saitama and Gunma. If you find yourself on the Kanetsu Expressway heading to Tokyo from either Gunma or Niigata, keep an eye out for the Yorii Little Prince parking area. It is after the Honjo Kodama Interchange. There is a warm feel about the place and even in the rain it brought a bit of sunshine to a long journey! Although it is small, it has all the necessary facilities to break up a road trip such as toilets, vending machines, a restaurant, cafe, kiosk, a smoking area and even a little patch of green.
Yorii is the name of a city in Northern Saitama. However, the parking area isn’t actually in Yorii officially! This is one of an alarming number of places in Japan that is named for being in an area that it isn’t actually in. The Yorii Little Prince Parking area is in fact in Fukaya. The most famous examples of places in Japan that put a city they are not actually in in their title is Tokyo Narita airport which is in fact in Chiba and Tokyo Disney Resort which is also in Chiba!
Yorii Little Prince Star Parking Area Kanetsu expressway (Inbound)
Hours: Facilities (toilets, vending machines) are available 24 hours, but the restaurant and shopping corner closes at 9 pm. The bakery, cafe and chicken shop close at 8 pm.
Address: 3064-4 本郷北坂 Fukaya-shi, Saitama-ken 369-0214
Plus code: 55FV+R9 Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture
Official Website: Drive Plaza, Japanese language only
Access: 6.2 kilometres after Honjo Kodama Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway
Parking: for 47 large vehicles and 76 for cars. Three car spaces available for people with lower mobility or disabilities.
E-nexco wifi available.
Toilet with facilities for people with lower mobility or in a wheelchair.
Previous parking area is Kamisato Parking area. And the one after is Ranzan parking area.
Little Prince On Amazon. This is an Amazon Associates link. If you click on this link *and* buy something I may get a very very small reward ( a yen or two) from this purchase. This will not come out of your pocket, it comes out of Amazons’! For more about Amazon Associates click here.
Other “Only in Saitama” locations on this blog:
- Only in Saitama: Chukaman Museum | IRUMA
- Yorii Little Prince Parking Area | FUKAYA
- Time slip Onihei Edo-dokoro Parking Area | HANYU
- Make your own Saika bonsai | OMIYA
- Meiji Chocolate Factory Tour | SAKADO
- Visiting Totoro at the house of Kurosuke | TOKOROZAWA
- Something different in Saitama: Santome PART 1 | MIYOSHI
- Skip City Visual Museum | KAWAGUCHI
- Award Winning, Intangible Asset “Suneori Amagoi”, Rain Praying Festival | TSURUGASHIMA
- Make your own POCKY at Free Factory Tour | KITAMOTO
- Luminous Moss, Military Factory and 100 Caves of Yoshimi | YOSHIMI
- “Moomin Valley”, Akebono Children’s Forest | HANNO