Let’s escape the city and enjoy an adventure to the nature of Saitama, from the mountain side to the river side! Even though it is very close to the Tokyo metropolitan area, Saitama Prefecture awaits visitors with abundant natural scenic landscapes and many kinds of beautiful flowers, such as the famous cherry blossoms.
Located in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture, Nagatoro River is a place of great natural beauty where you can experience rafting in Japanese wooden boats. Handled by the skilled boatman who use only one bamboo rod, one can enjoy the breathtaking natural beauties of the Iwadatami Rocks, which have been designated as a special national treasure!
Nearby in Nagatoro Town, there is also a cherry blossom viewing spot along Kitazakura street. Speaking of flowers, let’s look at the recommended spots for flower viewing in each season.
Kinchakuda is listed as one of the 30 most beautiful places in Japan to view flowers. Here the spider lily bloom into a heaven on earth from September to October. The blooming flowers are called manjushage and higanbana in Japanese. The flowers are only in bloom for 5 to 6 days, so if you are lucky enough to be in town at the same time, do not miss it! The carpet of deep and vibrant red flowers is such a breathtaking sight that tourists flock here by the thousands every day during the peak blooming time. The Rugby World Cup 2019 will occur at the same time as the bloom, making Kinchakuda a perfect side trip to the matches.
Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu is another green and lush area in Saitama Prefecture. It is most famous for its hill full of beautiful shibazakura (moss phlox) in spring. Here you can enjoy the carpet of shibazakura blossoms and the overlooking the great mountain.
Gongendo Park in Satte City is famous for its great number of cherry blossom trees. From late March to early April, more than 1,000 cherry blossom trees create a tunnel over 1 km long! Rape blossoms have been planted around the floor of trees, creating a brilliant contrast between the yellow of the rape seed and the pink cherry blossoms. This collaboration of colour is truly spectacular to behold.
In the city of Kumagaya, Saitama, Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi is another prime cherry blossom spot. Here a two-kilometer-long stretch of cherry trees line the river, making a gorgeous flower viewing spot within the town. Check out and stroll down the tunnel made by the cherry trees of vibrant pink!