Saitama is the most populous city in the district of Saitama Perfecture and located in the north of Tokyo, Japan
It’s the merging of four cities; Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki
It has many cultural parks, sites, and museums that will amaze travelers
Most of its attraction places are cultural and historical such as Hikawa Shrine, Omiya Park, Railway Museum, Cocoon City, and many more
Being the capital of Saitama Prefecture, Saitama has over 1,2 million population. However, it has a lot of tourist attractions with cultural and historical temples. Since Japan is known for Shinto beliefs, Saitama is a good place to learn more about Japanese culture and history. Recommended places here are Hikawa Shrine and Omiya Park.
Saitama can be reached from Tokyo by metropolitan rail. Located on the northern side of Tokyo, you can find destinations such as the Railway Museum. Here you can see Saitama's history through the train and its contribution to the city.
Cocoon City (Saitama-Shintoshin) is the main area to buy stuff and things. Located near the JR Saitama-Shintoshin Station, it consists of three buildings named Cocoon 1, Cocoon 2, and Cocoon 3. Sogō Ōmiya is also one good place for shopping. It’s a department store located near West Exit of Ōmiya Station and provides anything men and women need.
Visiting Saitama will not be perfect if you’re not trying Sayatama Tea. It’s kind of tea leaves and has been cultivated for almost 700 years. It has a rich and robust flavor. Eel is another great good you can find in this city. It’s known as Unagi and it’s a staple of Kawagoe and became popular in Edo Periode (1603-1867). It’s perfect to eat alongside with sake.
Most Japanese beliefs are Shinto, and so is Saitama. In this city, you can find numerous cultural temples and museums such as Nagayamon Nomen Art Museum, Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, and Menuma Shodenzan Temple. The temples and museums are the representation of the diverse culture exist in Saitama since years ago. These places can be visited at full one day trip.
Best time to visit Saitama is in May, June to October.
Miyamoto Residence is one of the oldest accommodations in Saitama. This 200-year-old inn is managed by a former of Sumō Wrestler. Staying at this place will give an authentic atmosphere of Japan’s Edo period. If you want to experience hot water spring in your hotel, Wadō is highly recommended for you.
There are a lot of recommended restaurants in Saitama. First, Kotobuki Noodle Yoshikawa specializes in ramen. They serve a unique curry named Gyouda Fry or known as the Saitama Eel Rice Bowl. Another one is Negombo33 which is a must-visit restaurant, too. It is an Indian curry restaurant with a variety of menus and affordable prices.
Cafe Nichigetsudo is a nice place located in Saitama with their furnace baked artisan bread. The café design is wooden-house and surrounded by greenery. It’s a perfect place to take a break. If you’re looking for organic food, Alishan Organic Café is a must-visit. They serve organic and vegan foods with the view of a gorgeous river.
Nightlife in Saitama isn’t that different from other cities in Japan. If you’re in Saitama, Kurand Sake Market Ueno is a recommendation. It provides a variety of sake and other spirits. Magic Bar Tejinaya Shinjuku is a good place to get all-you-can-drink at affordable prices. The bar also features a magic show that will make your night gets exciting.
Saitama lets travelers learn more about the culture and history of the city. These places are great to be put on your bucket lists; Omiya Bonsai Art, Tobu Zoo, Omiya Park, Hikawa Shrine, and Railway Station Museum.
Most of the places in Saitama are Instagramable, so make sure you take pictures on these places; Nagayamon Nomen Art Museum where you can see various 'strange' masks from Japan, Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is the home for bonsai tree with unique arts.