Saitama (さいたま) is the capital of Saitama prefecture in the Kanto region of Japan. It came into existence after the merging of 4 former cities, including Urawa, the former capital, in 2001.

34 things to do

All Places Japan

Tōgyoku Doll Museum

Tōgyoku dolls are a famous local product and symbol. According to legend, a priest named Esho became sick while passing through the area. Although he recovered from the illness, it weakened him to the point that he couldn't leave the town. He began to pass the time by making dolls out of the local wood. His dolls slowly grew in popularity and the tradition of doll-making has been a part of the Iwatsuki area ever since. They were given the name 'Tōgyoku' by a local lord when he was given one of the dolls as a present. The museum has many examples of these dolls, as well as exhibits of other types of dolls. They also have workshops where you can make your own dolls for a fee.

Saitama Super Arena

A multi-configuration arena that can seat up to 37,000 people. Numerous shops, restaurants and attractions can be found within. A pedestrian walkway links the Saitama Shintoshin train station with the Super Arena. It's a very big hall. Many famous artists often give concerts there. The person who lives in Saitama does ceremony of Coming of Age Day there every year in January. There is a square around the Saitama Super Arena. It's a good place for a date. On Christmas, a lot of people come, because of the beautiful lights.

DO   —  Map

Hikawa Shrine

One of the most important Shinto shrines in the Kanto area, claiming the history of more than two thousand years. Take the train to JR Omiya station, exit to the east, and keep walking until you come to the tree-lined street. This is the two-kilometer long entrance path to the shrine. Turn left and walk straight north until you reach Hikawa Shrine itself. On New Year's Day, people young and old come to visit and celebrate the new year. Next to the shrine is a park, Omiya Koen.

SEE   —  Map

Ōmiya kōen

The park has a long history. It is the first prefectural park in Saitama. In 1989, a second park was added and in 2001, a third park. As a result, it became the very big park. There is a small zoo in the park. There is a swimming pool, amusement park, soccer field, museum and archery ground, too. It is park that is enjoyable for all ages. When it is spring, many people do cherry-blossom viewing there.

DO   —  Map

The King George Tavern

A few minutes walk through the seedier side of Saitama from Omiya Station's East Exit. Turn right at the exit and then left down the brightly lit strip full of touts and hostesses in evening dresses. The King George is a way down on your right. This English-style pub is often full of expat English teachers, and hosts a lot of gigs and live events. Drinks are around ¥600.


From Omiya Station (East Exit) and take your first left. Walk for about a half a KM north until you will see the bar on your right. Every gaijin loves a Hub, and this one is arguably the best in the Kanto region, thanks to its massive interior and patio, as well as a non-smoking section that actually stays smoke-free. Food also available in addition to drinks.

DRINK   —  Map

Torikukai Yakitori bar and grill

During the week master Suzuki san grills up the freshest chicken and on weekends the best ramen using the freshest chicken for a wonderful broth. During the week at dinner its a Yakitori bar with a friendly lively local crowd. 5000 yen for a dinner for two depending on how much you drink and its all top quality cooking.

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

An informative museum with exhibits about the various types of bonsai, themes they represent, and how they are trained. The museum includes English explanations and brochures, so you can learn a lot about this traditional Japanese art form without knowing Japanese.

SEE   —  Map

Railway Museum

A must of rail buffs and great for kids, the museum features 36 engines on display (including Japan's first steam locomotive), train cab simulators, Japan's largest HO-gauge miniature railway and more. You can even eat your lunch in a restored dining car.

SEE   —  3-47 Onaricho

Saitama Arts Theatre

The city's primary performing arts theatre. Throughout the year, they hold orchestral concerts, piano concerts, plays, musicals, and other events. It has even been used to film dramas. There is also a cafeteria and restaurant on site.

DO   —  Map

Total Kitchen

Home to Saitama's very own Sweets Gyoten Gyoza, a sweet gyoza with a potato and rice flour base. They also serve a variety of other Japanese dishes, like ramen and soba.

EAT   —  +81 48-653-9207 —  Map

The Three Little Lambs

A delicious lamb shabu-shabu restaurant which also serves lamb sashimi or lamb yakiniku. With drinks you can have a delicious, filling meal for under 3000 yen.

EAT   —  +81 48-645-4129 —  Map

Urawa Art Museum

The museum collects and displays art of and from books. They also aim to foster local artists by featuring their works.

SEE   —  Map


Established in 1929 by Kyūzō Murata, the caretaker of the imperial bonsai collection. The founder has now passed away,


A temple famous for its garden of hundreds of peonies which bloom from the end of April through the beginning of May.

SEE   —  +81 48-878-1545 —  Map


This bonsai nursery nearest Omiya Koen serves as the garden of the president of the Japanese Bonsai Association.

Omiya Park Zoo

A small children's zoo, home to a variety of birds, monkeys, squirrels, reptiles, and other small animals.

DO   —  Map

Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore

Exhibits artifacts from around Saitama Prefecture with information about its history and culture.

SEE   —  Map

Saitama Museum of Modern Art

A museum of modern art featuring works by famous painters, such as Monet, Picasso, and Chagall.

SEE   —  +81 48-824-0111 —  Map

Urawa Corso

A mall with a variety of shoes and clothing shops, as well as some specialty shops.

BUY   —  +81 48-824-5555 —  Map

Red Voltage

This is the official souvenir shop for the Red Voltage soccer team.

BUY   —  +81 48-824-0290 —  Map


The 12th temple of the Bandō 33 Temple Pilgrimage.

SEE   —  Map


Large mall complex.

BUY   —  +81 48-856-7100 —  Map

Pioland Hotel

SLEEP   —  +81 48-648-0010 —  Map

Royal Pines Hotel

SLEEP   —  Map

Chateau Briant

SLEEP   —  Map


SEE   —  Map

Urawa station

OTHER   —  +48-600-0070 —  Map

Omiya station

OTHER   —  +81 48-644-1144 —  Map

Source: wikivoyage