Nature and Culture
3 Days/ 2 Nights Customizable Trip : Kumagaya, Nagatoro, Omiya, Kawagoe
From ~ JPY105,000/pers. (USD1,010) based on double occupancy in 4**** hotel
If you’re looking to escape the sultry days of summer in the world’s biggest megalopolis, Chichibu, Saitama is a great choice. It has been a favorite getaway for Tokyo-dwellers since the 19th century because of its pristine beauty.
Chichibu is known for its impressive shrines and beautiful nature including forested mountains and valleys that provide for hiking opportunities.
Though located at the westernmost reaches of Saitama, Chichibu can be reached in little over an hour from central Tokyo.
A 100% customizable tour idea by Yoko.
Take the shinkansen (about 30 mins) to Kumagaya station, where the driver will be waiting, holding a sign with your name on it.
It is also possible to get to Chichibu with the “Fifty-Two Seats of Happiness” train, a gastronomic train, where you can have Tokyo’s top chef cuisines while enjoying the wonderful views until your destination! But seats are scarce.
You will start the day with a visit ot the Oshi Castle, nicknamed the “Floating Castle” or “Turtle Castle”. Built in 1479, it was considered one of the seven main strongholds in the Kanto region.
Then the magnificent Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin temple and its main building designated as a national treasure, thanks to the opulent carvings and lacquer gracing its walls.
After dropping off your luggage at your ryokan, you will taste the local gourmet of Chichibu, “Ishiki stone grilled dishes”, with river fish, and shiitake mushroom skewers.
You will then visit the Chichibu Shrine, one of the Chichibu Sanja (three shrines of Chichibu) and charge your energy at the Mitsumine Shrine, a mystical shrine located in the mountains at 1,100 meters above sea level, dedicated to Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, the mythical deities said to have given birth to the country of Japan.
Those looking for thrills can enjoy a unique experience at Chichibu Geo Gravity Park, where they will find zip lines and suspension bridges.
The day will end with a visit of the Chichibu whisky distillery or the Buko Masamune sake distillery.
Overnight and dinner at your 4**** ryokan.
Wadoh or equivalent.
After enjoying your breakfast (included), take the train (25 minutes) or a taxi to your ryokan in Nagatoro and start your day with a visit of the beautiful Hodosan Shrine at the foot of Hodo Mountain.
Then wind your way through the Arakawa River.
In addition to activities like hiking and cycling, the biggest attraction is the Arakawa River, which snakes its way through the town.
Swim in the river, or jump from the many impressive rock formations that jut out above its waters. It is also a perfect place for a picnic.
Perhaps the most exciting activity in the area, the ‘Line Kudari’ (river cruise) takes you down the Arakawa River on a wooden boat.
At the end of the day, learn the history of silk production at the Meisenkan museum in Chichibu city.
Overnight at your 3*** ryokan.
Choseikan or equivalent.
After a short train ride (about 40 mins) enjoy Omiya, which has been an old time favorite destination for Bonsai enthusiasts traveling into Japan.
Omiya Bonsai Village has six bonsai gardens, containing hundreds of bonsai, as well as the beautiful Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, more than enough to please even the most avid enthusiast.
On your way back to Tokyo, visit Kawagoe, a town of history retaining an ambience reminiscent of an old town from the Edo Period, Koedo Kawagoe.
You can have fun all day exploring the charming streets lined with traditional houses, shops, and cafes. The city is famous for its local sweet potato treats!
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