Sensational Saitama: How To Enjoy This Scenic Prefecture | CoolJapan

Conveniently located just an hour away from downtown Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture is an underrated destination that needs to be on every traveller’s radar. Surrounded by forests and mountains and home to a network of rivers and waterfalls, the nature-soaked Saitama offers the stressed-out urbanite a much-needed respite.

Saitama Travel Guide

Blooms at Saitama

Saitama also boasts a wide variety of local specialities, including black pork, Kawagoe potatoes and Sayama tea – known as one of Japan’s three great teas. In addition, with its abundance of clean fresh water and high production of wheat, Saitama has a thriving noodle-making industry, producing more udon and soba than anywhere else in Japan.

Explore some of the must-visit sites in Saitama as well as discover which local souvenirs to take home with you through this guide.

What to see in Saitama

Saitama Travel Guide

Koedo or "Little Edo"

Koedo, which means “Little Edo”, is a small town located about 30 minutes away from Kawagoe’s city centre. Time stands still in this town, with its traditional candy shops and well-preserved merchant storehouses. The town is especially popular in spring when the banks of the Shingashi River are awash with pinks and whites of cherry blossom flowers in full bloom. During the Spring festival held at the last week of March until the end of Golden Week (5 May), visitors are invited to hop on a romantic boat ride down the Shingashi River where you can experience the beauty of sakura in all its glory — but be sure to take note of the day this service is offered because it's available only for one day.

Menuma Shoden-zan Temple

If you’re someone who prefers a spot of history, don’t miss the Menuma Shoden-zan Temple, which was built in 1179. This temple is dedicated to Kangiten, a Buddhist protector god who is said to bring good luck in matchmaking. Built using Gongen architectural techniques, this eye-catching building features elaborate carvings and opulent lacquer covering its walls. The main hall, the Kangi-in Seitendo, has been designated a National Treasure — the only building in Saitama vested this accolade.

Souvenirs from Saitama

Good news: you can now enjoy a taste of Saitama even before flying to Japan. The Saitama Japan Premium Shop on Shopee offers an array of the prefecture’s best-known items.

Yugeta Yuzu Soy Sauce

Yugeta Yuzu Soy Sauce,SGD10.17

First on your list should be the Yugeta Yuzu Soy Sauce. This award-winning condiment is infused with the light, refreshing flavours of yuzu and is the ideal accompaniment for summer salads.

single-origin Sayama tea

Japanese Sayama Single Origin Tea 6 Varieties Tasting Pack, starts at SGD24.36

Another popular export from Saitama is its teas. Try the Moringa tea, from the wasabi tree also known as the "moringa tree," “medicine box tree” or the “miracle tree”. This antioxidant-rich tea offers plenty of health benefits such as improving heart health and boosting one’s immunity. Or try the single-origin Sayama tea, lauded as one of Japan’s three great teas. Characterised by its rich umami flavours combined with a unique sweetness, this tea is highly sought-after by international tea connoisseurs.

Komatsuna Udon

Komatsuna Udon, SGD9.90

For those who can’t get enough of noodles, you’ll love slurping your way through the delicious Komatsuna Udon, made with a traditional Japanese vegetable that is rich in vitamins and contains about 1.5 times more calcium than milk. This udon is also made with 100% domestic Japanese wheat flour – 75% of which is Saitama wheat flour — that guarantees high-quality flavour and a lovely chewy texture.


K'clock, SGD101.49

For those looking for a touch of whimsy, look no further than the K’clock, designed by highly acclaimed designer Shizuka Tatsuno and made in Koshigaya City. This is not your usual clock; its soft, delicate material is able to take on various shapes as if it were a living thing, making for a perfect addition to your living room or bedside table.

baseball cap made with traditional Japanese fabric

[email protected] Japan Kimono Cap Crane Kinran Tsuru, SGD146.71

Want something a bit more snazzy? Style mavens will love this baseball cap made with traditional Japanese fabric that is typically used to make the obi (the large sash that accompanies the kimono) and other elaborate stage costumes. Available in various sizes, this cap is a guaranteed show-stopper.

(All photos from: Saitama Japan Premium Shop)

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