Recommended Omiya sightseeing itinerary

Omiya is an easy trip from Tokyo. How about a visit to see its mixture of old and new major points of note?

Omiya is the core of Saitama Prefecture, and located only about 30 minutes from Tokyo by train, it is a convenient place to visit. The area around Omiya Station is filled with major points of note, both old and new, such as the many commercial facilities, historical shrines, a bonsai Mecca and the Railway Museum. Because it is so close to Tokyo, Omiya is also great for a fun day-trip.

Itinerary Maps

Itinerary Maps

Trip Details

Day-trip sightseeing – Time needed: approximately 7 hours, 30 minutes, including approximately 6 hours, 30 minutes for sightseeing and meals

Omiya Station

On foot

Approximately 15 minutes on foot

Musashi
Ichi-no-miya
Hikawa Shrine

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 10 minutes

Sightseeing

1Musashi Ichi-no-miya Hikawa Shrine

Among the many Hikawa Shrines scattered throughout the greater Tokyo area, the one in Omiya has a special stature and a history extending back more than 2,000 years. From the Ichi-no-torii gate, the temple approach is approximately two kilometers long, and the Ni-no-torii gate is the largest wooden torii in the Kanto region. The vermilion-painted sacred bridge and tower gate are beautiful sights, and the grounds are filled each New Year with a large number of people making their pilgrimage.

Hours of operation

  • Spring and fall months – March, April, September and October: 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Summer months – May to August: 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Winter months – November to February: 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Open 365 days a year

Charge

  • Prayer offerings – starting at 5,000 yen

Address

  • 1-407 Takahana-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Related websites

Saitama Convention and Visitors Bureau

Time needed: approximately 30 minutes

Musashi Ichi-no-miya Hikawa Shrine
Musashi Ichi-no-miya Hikawa Shrine

Shindoyamaya

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 15 minutes

Dining

2Shindoyamaya

After a visit to Hikawa Shrine, how about lunch at a traditional ryokan (inn), located in a corner of Omiya Park? In a room built in the sukiya-zukuri architectural style and filled with the pleasant aroma of wood, enjoy a meal incorporating lots of seasonal ingredients prepared with traditional techniques and modern concepts. With beautiful dishes and an aesthetic presentation, the cuisine is a treat both for the eye and the palate.

Hours of operation

  • Restaurant: 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Ryokan: check-in – 4:00 p.m., check-out – 10:00 a.m.

Closed

  • Restaurant – Wednesday
  • Ryokan – open 365 days a year

Address

  • 3-110 Horinouchi-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Related websites

Shindoyamaya (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 90 minutes

The garden outside a special secluded room
The garden outside a special secluded room

One of the dishes served
One of the dishes served


Omiya Bonsai
Village

On foot

A few steps away

SightseeingActivities

3Omiya Bonsai Village

The bonsai industry flourished in Omiya particularly in the twentieth century, and Omiya Bonsai Village is a Mecca for bonsai enthusiasts who come from around Japan and overseas. There are about 10 bonsai gardens, each with its own characteristics and unique tree shadows that delight visitors through the seasons.

Hours of operation

  • Vary depending on the garden – generally open during the daylight hours

Closed

  • Thursday (the following day in case of a holiday), year end and New Year. Individual gardens may also have special closures

Charge

  • Most gardens are free of charge

Address

  • Fuyo-En – 96 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Kyuka-En – 131 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Seiko-En – 268 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Mansei-En – 285 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Toju-En – 247 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Shoto-En – 112-4 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Shosetsu-En – 2-640 Higashi Onari-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama
  • Issei-En – 2-293, Someya, Minuma-ku, Saitama

Related websites

Saitama Convention and Visitors Bureau

Time needed: approximately 60 minutes

Omiya Bonsai Village
Omiya Bonsai Village

The Bonsai House
of the Four Seasons

On foot

Approximately 3 minutes on foot

4The Bonsai House of the Four Seasons

Open to the public, the Bonsai House of the Four Seasons (Bonsai shiki no ie) is a place of repose in Bonsai Village. Modeled after the former residence of the chief priest of Hikawa Shrine, the building has an elegant exterior and a relaxing interior made in rustic fashion. It is an excellent place to rest after a stroll around Bonsai Village.

Hours of operation

  • Resting room – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Japanese-style room – 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Closed

  • During the year end and New Year

Charge

  • Resting room – no charge
  • Japanese room use fee: 9:00 a.m. to noon – 220 yen, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – 330 yen, 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – 460 yen

Address

  • 267-1 Bonsai-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Related websites

Saitama City Kita Ward website (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 15 minutes

The Bonsai House of Four Seasons
The Bonsai House of Four Seasons


The Omiya Bonsai
Art Museum
Saitama

On foot or Taxi

Taxi – approximately 10 minutes or approximately 35 minutes on foot

SightseeingActivities

5The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum Saitama

This is the world's first public bonsai art museum. Exhibits include famous bonsai pieces, bonsai pots, paintings and more. A hands-on bonsai workshop is held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Attendees can watch bonsai experts practice techniques such as the use of wire. An audio tour device can also be rented to provide information in one of four languages for 300 yen.

Hours of operation

  • March to October – 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • November to February – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed

  • Thursday (except holidays), year end, New Year, exhibit changeover days

Charge

  • Adults – 300 yen

Address

  • 2-24-3 Toro-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Related websites

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Time needed: approximately 60 minutes

The bonsai garden
The bonsai garden

BonCider – a soft drink

When walking around Bonsai Village, how about a bottle of Omiya BonCider to quench your thirst for just 200 yen? Blended with natural Japanese carbonated water, Omiya BonCider has a refreshing taste that is not too sweet ("cider" means "soda pop" in Japanese). Labeled with the bonsai mark, it’s also an excellent choice as a gift to take back home. Omiya BonCider can be purchased in the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum shop and stores nearby.

Related websites

BonCider (in Japanese only)

BonCider – a soft drink
BonCider – a soft drink

The Railway
Museum

Trunk Lines

Train – approximately 3 minutes (New Shuttle)

SightseeingActivitiesDining

6The 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.

Hours of operation

  • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last entrance at 5:30 p.m.)

Closed

  • Tuesday, during the year end and New Year

Charge

  • Adults – 1,000 yen

Address

  • 3-47 Onari-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Related websites

The Railway Museum

Time needed: approximately 120 minutes

A mini train for a child conductor
A mini train for a child conductor

Ekiben-ya – a kiosk for purchasing bentos
Ekiben-ya – a kiosk for purchasing bentos

Get out and exploreActivitiesDiningShopping

Beans Yonohonmachi

This shopping facility is located under the elevated Yonohommachi Station on the Saikyo Line. In addition to such shops as a bakery café and a Japanese tea and confection shop, Beans Yonohonmachi features confectionary art made by a Japanese confection artisan and exhibited on an art wall. The artisan confections are made with traditional Japanese ingredients to express natural scenery. The skill of artisans that has come down from the Edo period and the feel of the four seasons can be enjoyed through this unique exhibit. Beans Yonohonmachi is an excellent place to stop by on the way back after a stroll in Saitama.

Hours of operation

  • 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (individual store hours may vary)

Closed

  • January 1 and one other unscheduled day

Address

  • 2-3-11 Hommachi Higashi, Chuo-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture

Getting there

  • Directly linked to Yonohommachi Station on the JR Saikyo Line

Related websites

Beans Yonohonmachi (in Japanese only)

Beans Yonohonmachi
Beans Yonohonmachi

A space for relaxing
A space for relaxing

Omiya Station

As of June 2014.
Prices, business hours, transportation and other details are subject to change.

Trunk line

Trunk line

Taxi

Taxi

On foot

On foot

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