Saitama: Omiya


Neighboring Tokyo and within the metropolitan area, Saitama is blessed with an abundance of natural scenery and history, and has many interesting places to visit. In addition to such sightseeing locations as nature-filled Chichibu and Nagatoro, as well as historical Koedo Kawagoe, Omiya is home to the Railway Museum. With ample transportation options such as the Shinkansen for travel from Tokyo in about 30 minutes, Omiya is conveniently located for visiting other sightseeing areas in Eastern Japan.

Recommended Sights

The Railway Museum is packed with lots of interesting exhibitsThe Railway Museum is packed with lots of interesting exhibits

The Railway Museum

Filled with such exhibits as a steam locomotive with an old-fashioned driver's cab, a train conductor simulator and a miniature train that can be operated on an outdoor course, the Railway Museum is filled with fun things to do for kids and adults alike. At the indoor restaurant, order from an old-style dining car menu, or stop by the bento shop—fashioned just like at the station—where standard and special museum bentos are available.
(Take the New Shuttle from JR Omiya Station. It is a one-minute walk from Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan (Onari) Station.)

Omiya Bonsai VillageOmiya Bonsai Village

Omiya Bonsai Village

The bonsai industry flourished in Omiya particularly in the mid-twentieth century, and Omiya Bonsai Village is a Mecca for bonsai enthusiasts who come from around Japan and overseas. There are about five bonsai gardens, each with its own characteristics and unique tree shadows that delight visitors through the seasons.
(A five-minute walk from the east exit of Toro Station on the JR Utsunomiya Line. A 10-minute walk from Omiya-koen Station on the Tobu Noda Line)

Saitama Super ArenaSaitama Super Arena

Saitama Super Arena

Saitama Super Arena is a multi-purpose facility where many different types of events are held, including concerts, sporting events and trade fairs. The main arena is equipped with a partitioning mechanism for conversion to a meeting hall and other configurations so that conferences and many other sorts of events can be held.
(Located right outside Saitama-Shintoshin Station on the JR Keihin Tohoku, Utsunomiya and Takasaki Lines)

Looking across the water at the amusement park ridesLooking across the water at the amusement park rides

Tobu Zoo

Check out Saitama Leisureland, a mixture of amusement park, zoo, swimming pool and horse-riding club. There are some 30 rides, including the Kawasemi roller coaster and the Regina, and the zoo has some 1,200 animals representing 120 species, including the rare white tiger. Fun things to do include feeding the animals for an up-close encounter and strolling through the grounds, looking at the animals.
(Approximately a 10-minute walk from the west exit of Tobu-Dobutsu-Koen Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line.)

Local Cuisine

Higashi Matsuyama YakitoriHigashi Matsuyama Yakitori

Higashi Matsuyama Yakitori

Yakitori (literally, grilled chicken) is standard Japanese fare served on skewers. In Higashimatsuyama, Saitama Prefecture, yakitori restaurants serve pork head meat that has been cooked slowly over a charcoal flame. This pork twist on the yakitori chicken theme is served with a spicy miso sauce and is a popular treat. There are about 100 restaurants located around Higashi-Matsuyama Station on the Tobu Tojo Line where this delectable delight can be enjoyed. Higashimatsuyama is approximately one hour from Omiya by train.

Zeri Fry (fried jelly)Zeri Fry (fried jelly)

Zeri Fry (fried jelly)

In Gyodashi, a city in Saitama Prefecture, potato and okara (tofu lees) are used as the main ingredients of zeri fry, which is formed into an oval shape and deep fried, then eaten with a dipping sauce. Eaten since at least the turn of the twentieth century, fried "jelly" (there is no jelly or gelatin in them) has long been a favorite snack of the common people. They are generally priced at about 100 yen a piece. Gyoda is approximately 35 minutes from Omiya by train on the JR Takasaki Line.

Saitama: Omiya at a Glance