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Saitama Prefecture

Saitama Prefecture in Kanto DistrictSaitama PrefectureSaitama is the the prefecture located just north of Tokyo Metropolis.

The eastern half of the prefecture is flat land.
Arakawa River flows through this area, and Tone River flows along the northern border between prefectures.
In the area close to Tokyo, there are many cities, then it is formed the north part of Tokyo metropolitan area.

The western half is mountainous, and there are many mountains as much as 1,000-2,000 meters high.
In the center of the area, there is Chichibu city, then the area is often called "Chichibu region".

The prefectural capital is Saitama city located at the southeast part.
This city has been merged with 4 cities in 2001 and 2005, then it has a population of 1.2 million people.
So the names of most railroad stations in this city remain former city names.

A central area in this city is Urawa. There are the prefectural office, the city hall and some other administrative agencies here.
Another central area is Omiya. There is an important junction of Shinkanasen and JR Line.
Omiya is the next Shinkansen station of Ueno in Tokyo, and Tohoku Shinkansen and Joetsu Shinkansen branch off from here.

This prefecture has many railroad lines, but most lines lead to Tokyo.
So it is relatively convenient to visit this prefecture from Tokyo.

Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau

The climate in Kumagaya
Highest Temperature (deg C) 9.4 10.2 13.5 19.5 23.9 26.4 30.1 31.9 27.2 21.7 16.4 11.8
Lowest Temperature (deg C) -0.7 0.0 3.1 8.4 13.4 17.8 21.7 23.0 19.3 13.0 6.7 1.6
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 26 40 66 96 106 155 156 189 209 124 58 20

Tourist spots in Saitama Prefecture

Saitama Prefecture map

Hikawa Shrine /1/
Omiya Bonsai Village /2/
The Railway Museum /3/
Kawagoe /4/
Hundred Caves of Yoshimi /5/
Sakitama Kofun Park /6/
Nagatoro gorge /7/
Chichibu city /8/
Mitsumine shrine /9/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Saitama Prefecture

Kumagaya Uchiwa FestivalKumagaya Uchiwa Festival (July 20-22nd)

It is the summer festival held in Kumagaya city located in the north part of Saitama Prefecture.
It is the annual festival of Yasaka Shrine in Kumagaya. Because this shrine is one of the branch shrines of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto, this festival is similar to Gion Festival in Kyoto.
Twelve gorgeous floats parade through the city to the traditional music "Kumagaya-bayashi". Espacially in the last evening, they gather at the main square, so it is the highlight of this festival.
"Uchiwa" means "Japanese paper fan". Around the middle of the 19th century, a restaurant handed out uchiwas to each visitors during this festival, then it gained popularity.
Since that, this festival has been called "Uchiwa festival".

Chichibu Night FestivalChichibu Night Festival (December 2nd and 3rd)

It is the annual festival of Chichibu shrine in Chichibu city.
This is one of the Japan's three beautiful festivals along with Gion Festival in Kyoto and Takayama festival in Takayama city. It has been held every year since the 1660s.
Six large and decorated floats parade through the streets.
The highlight is the parade by all floats in the last evening.

Local foods and products in Saitama Prefecture

Soka SenbeiSoka Senbei

It is one of Japanese rice crackers, and is made in Soka city located at southeast part of Saitama Prefecture.
It is made from rice flour. After baking, both sides are brushed with shoyu (soy sauce). A piece is circular in shape and its size is generally about 9 centimeters in diameter. The taste is very simple.
It is one of the popular souvenirs in Tokyo area.

Hina dollsHina Dolls in Iwatsuki

March 3 is the Doll Festival in Japan, and it is the day for the future happiness of girls.
And families with girls display a set of dolls (Hina dolls) dressed in costumes which were worn in the royal court in ancient times.
Saitama Prefecture is the top producer of Hina dolls in Japan, and especially Iwatsuki district in Saitama city is famous.

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