The hiking event has finished. We look forward to serving you again.

Ekikara Hiking English map & guide included! Participation is free of charge! Hiking held from Friday, March 9 to Wednesday, March 14, 2012 A town of railways and bonsai "Museum Village Omiya Park" hiking
In the Museum Village Omiya Park area you can experience new discoveries and encounters in the distinctive natural history museums and art museums.

Information for First Time Participants

Ekikara Hiking (Hiking from the Station) events are one-day events starting from stations throughout the eastern Japan area that anyone can participate in easily. They consist of hiking while experiencing the historical buildings and abundant nature of the areas around the stations. Participation is free of charge. Participation in the Ekikara Hiking event is very simple! All you need to do is apply through this website and then go to the reception counter at the hiking spot on the day of the event!
Organization of the Event
Application through this website The Day of the Event (Reception counter at the hiking spot) Collect your map at the reception counter Setting off on your hike!
It is also possible to join the hike on the day of the event but a prior application is more convenient!   English-speaking staff is available to help you!   English maps are also available.
A wonderful free gift is included!
Customers who make a reservation through the Internet will receive another wonderful free gift as well!
  There are no time limits, etc.
Please enjoy the hiking in your own way!

Overview of the Hiking

The hiking from Omiya Station is going to be held for 6 days: you can participate on any day from Friday, March 9 to Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

Participation is free of charge so by all means take this opportunity to gain some wonderful memories of travelling in Japan!

Date Friday, March 9 to Wednesday, March 14, 2012 All participants will receive gifts!
Original Can Badge
Original Can Badge
&
Hiking Map
(English Translation)
[Information about Special Deals!]
If you have the Original Can Badge, you can get a discount on the admission fees for the Railway Museum and the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum!
Application Time 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Nearest Station Omiya Station on the JR Utsunomiya Line

Click here for the routes to Omiya Station

Reception Area Omiya Station Information Center

Click here for the layout of Omiya Station

Walking Time Approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes (excluding tours of establishments)
Walking Distance Approx. 8 km
Tour Fee Free of charge
Lunch Feel free to bring your own lunch.
Guide Basically no guide is provided. Each participant is free to walk around where he/she likes, using his/her map to find the way to each destination.
Points to Note:
  • You will be walking for about 2 hours and 30 minutes so please wear sturdy clothes and shoes, etc. on the hike.
  • The event will still take place even if it is raining on the day. In the event of rain please bring your rain gear with you.
  • Please take all of your trash home with you. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Entry fees are required for the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and the Railway Museum. (Discounts are available and you can receive a stamp for free)
  • The Railway Museum is closed on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 and the municipal museum and library, the Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, and the Cartoon Art Museum are closed on Monday, March 12, 2012.

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Highlights on the Hiking Course

The two major tourist attractions in Omiya are the Railway Museum and the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum. You can feel the history and culture of Omiya at the Railway Museum, which exhibits 36 real train cars in its history zone and teaches visitors about the history and technology of railways in Japan, and at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Omiya’s new attraction and the world’s first publicly-run bonsai museum.

Railway Museum

Recommended Railway Museum

Railway Museum… The Operation Simulator and Railway Model Diorama are highly recommended. If you can be there at the right time, the Motorman Experience Classroom is also interesting (there is a separate charge of 500 yen for this).


[Notes]
The Railway Museum is closed on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Its operating hours are 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:30).
There is an admission fee, but if you present your Can Badge at the reception, you can get the discounts listed below.

  • Adult: 1000 yen → 800 yen

Official site of the Railway Museum

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Recommended Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum… Currently bonsai artist Kaori Yamada is presenting a solo exhibition of saika bonsai at the museum.


[Notes]
The Bonsai Art Museum is closed on Thursdays. Its operating hours are 9:00-16:30 (last admission 16:00).
There is an admission fee but if you present your Can Badge at the reception you can get the discounts listed below.

  • Adult: 300 yen → 200 yen
  • High School and College students, or people aged 65 and older: 150 yen → 100 yen
  • Elementary and Junior High school students: 100 yen → 50 yen

Official site of the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Bonsai Mini Column

What is the Charm of Bonsai?
What is the Charm of Bonsai?

A "bonsai" is an art work which creates grand natural landscapes inside a small pot.
Unlike static paintings, sculptures, etc., bonsai show us a variety of changes. Bonsai are "living artworks" in which we can feel the beautiful changes formed by nature and the pulse of life throughout the four seasons.

Furthermore, bonsai is extremely highly regarded throughout the world, with tens of thousands of specialist bonsai magazines published in the United States, Spain and France. In Italy there is even a bonsai university and a bonsai art museum.

In the Western countries bonsai is considered to be living, changing art, and the extremely charming aspect of bonsai is the fact that it lives and gradually changes over time.
Enthusiasm for bonsai is particularly strong in Italy and Spain where techniques and sensibilities have reached a level comparable to that in Japan. Recently the number of bonsai lovers has been increasing in Taiwan and China as well.

So we can see that bonsai is now highly regarded throughout the world as "an example of the wonderful traditional culture of Japan."

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Hiking Course

This time the Ekikara Hiking will be along a hiking course which goes around Omiya, an area famous for railways and bonsai. The greatest attractions on the hiking course are undoubtedly the Railway Museum with its exhibits of actual train cars from each era from the time the railways were created to the present, and the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum with its exhibits of world-class examples of bonsai, art objects related to bonsai, history and folklore! Do not miss this chance to immerse yourself in the culture of Japan in Omiya, a tourist destination not far from the center of Tokyo.
Omiya Station, START!, Walk
Municipal museum and library, Walk

[Note]
Municipal museum and library are closed on Monday, March 12, 2012.

Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine, Walk
Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine

Said to have a history of more than 2,000 years, this is one of the greatest old shrines in Japan and is also the origin of the name of the area, "Omiya" (which means "great shrine" in Japanese). It is the headquarters for all Hikawa shrines in Kanto and has large grounds with an area of approx. 30,000 tsubo (approx. 100,000m2). The approach to the shrine is approximately 2 kilometers long, and the Ni-no-Torii (second shrine gate) is said to be the largest wooden shrine gate extant in Kanto.

NACK5 Stadium Omiya, Walk
NACK5 Stadium Omiya

This is a sports ground in Omiya Park exclusively for playing soccer. Currently, local Saitama FM radio station FM NACK5 has the naming rights so it is called NACK5 Stadium Omiya. It is the main stadium of Omiya Ardija, a team in the Japan soccer league.

Omiya Park, Walk
Omiya Park

Inside the park there are many trees, most famously the Japanese Red Pine forest and 1,200 cherry trees, enabling visitors to enjoy the new greenery of spring and the turning leaves in autumn. In addition it has a small zoo and a playground for children, and offers outstanding sports facilities including a baseball stadium, and a soccer field.

Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, Walk

[Note]
Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore is closed on Monday, March 12, 2012.

Cartoon Art Museum, Walk
Cartoon Art Museum
This is the first ever art museum dedicated to cartoons in Japan, and it was built on the site of the home lived in by Rakuten Kitazawa in his later years. Kitazawa was a pioneer of modern cartooning in Japan who was associated with Saitama City. The exhibition rooms are divided between the first floor and the second floor. The achievements and works of Rakuten and items associated with him are exhibited on the first floor, and modern and contemporary cartoon works, etc. are exhibited on the second floor in the special exhibition room that handles a wide range of cartoons.

[Notes]
The Cartoon Art Museum is closed on Monday, March 12, 2012. Its operating hours are 9:00-16:30.
Bonsai Village, Walk, Recommended
Bonsai Village

This is located to the north of Omiya Park and is known as one of the most outstanding bonsai cultivating areas in Japan. Every year from May 3 to May 5 the Omiya Bonsai Festival is held here, attracting many bonsai lovers from throughout the country.

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Walk, Recommended
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

The museum was opened in March 2010 as a place to communicate bonsai culture to the world. Visitors can learn about the history and meaning of bonsai and there are a wide range of exhibits including bonsai, bonsai pots, stones, etc.


[Notes]
The Bonsai Art Museum is closed on Thursdays. Its operating hours are 9:00-16:30 (last admission 16:00). There is an admission fee but if you present your Can Badge at the reception you can get the discounts listed below.

  • Adult: 300 yen → 200 yen
  • High School and College students, or people aged 65 and older: 150 yen → 100 yen
  • Elementary and Junior High school students: 100 yen → 50 yen
Railway Museum, Walk
Railway Museum

Visitors can learn about the history and technologies of railways while enjoying the exhibits of the Imperial train and other real train cars from the Meiji era onwards, the Railway Model Diorama, and the Operation Simulator, etc. The museum is very popular with a wide range of people from family groups to railway enthusiasts.


[Notes]
The Railway Museum is closed on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Its operating hours are 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:30). There is an admission fee but if you present your Can Badge at the reception you can get the discounts listed below.

  • Adult: 1000 yen → 800 yen
END!, Omiya Station

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Simplified Map of the Routes to Omiya Station

Location of the Hiking from Omiya Station

Detailed map of route (FLASH version)

Detailed map of route [PDF/158KB]


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Examples of Train Fares to Omiya Station

Routes (Traveling times) Fare Remarks
Tokyo Keihin-Tohoku Line
(Approx. 50 minutes)
Keihin-Tohoku Line
Omiya 540 yen

Map of Tokyo Station (English only)

Shinjuku Saikyo Line or Shonan Shinjuku Line
(Approx. 30 minutes)
Saikyo Line or Shonan Shinjuku Line
450 yen

Map of Shinjuku Station (English only)

Ueno Takasaki Line/Utsunomiya Line
(Approx. 25 minutes)
Takasaki Line/Utsunomiya Line
450 yen

Map of Ueno Station (English only)

Recommended Tickets
Suica is recommended for traveling to Omiya because it adjusts the fare automatically and saves you the trouble of buying tickets at each ticket vending machine! The JR Kanto Area Pass covering all of the "Kanto Area" including Tokyo and the surrounding regions is recommended! The JR East Pass is recommended for good-value travel because it allows unlimited rides, without any additional charges, anywhere within the JR East area!
Suica JR Kanto Area Pass JR EAST PASS

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