Things to Do in Saitama
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20 Spots in Japan That Inspired Ghibli Films
- Attention Ghibli fans! Ghibli Park is set to open in the fall of 2022, bringing some of the studio’s most iconic films to life in a theme park setting. So to get you excited for its launch, here are 20 spots that are all some way or another connected to Ghibli. Ghibli Park Image photo Set to open in the fall of 2022, Ghibli Park will recreate the fantasy worlds created by the studio in Aichi Expo Memorial Park. Three different areas will open initially - Youth Hill, Big Ghibli Warehouse and Dondoko Forest - with an additional two areas - Mononoke Village and Witch Valley - coming in 2023. Aside from reproduced landscapes and buildings from popular Ghibli anime films, the theme park will also feature video installations, children’s playgrounds, shops, and cafes. There will be attractions based on “My Neighbor Toto” and “Spirited Away” while the main gate will resemble the buildings from “Howl’s Moving Castle”. Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition After its initial run in Hiroshima two years ago (and subsequent exhibitions in Nagoya, Kanazawa and Tokyo), the Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition is taking place at Huis Ten Bosch Museum in Nagasaki from July 13 to September 23, 2019. It focuses on the work of long-time Studio Ghibli producer, Toshio Suzuki, with engaging artworks and calligraphy by Suzuki himself. Learn about his early inspiration in Showa-era manga and see a three-meter-tall depiction of Yubaba and Zeniba from “Spirited Away”. After exploring the exhibition, you can shop for limited-edition merchandise featuring all your favorite characters, then grab themed dishes at the Tea Salon on the first floor of Huis Ten Bosch.URL:http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/events/ Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition Ghibli Museum, Mitaka Ghibli Museum Ghibli Museum Another exhibition not to miss is the Ghibli Museum, which is situated in Inokashira Park in the city of Mitaka.It’s a destination to immerse yourself in the characters and scenery from some of the studio’s most famous films, as well as discovering the art and techniques of animation.See a replica of the Catbus from “My Neighbor Totoro” and a 3D zoetrope with characters from the 1988 film, then step into the mock animation studio to learn about illustration techniques.Remember that you need to reserve tickets well in advance to visit the museum and that you can’t just turn up!URL:http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/Popular tours： Studio Ghibli Museum Tickets—Preorder & Last-Minute Tickets Ghibli Clock (Nittele Big Clock) Ghibli Clock Ghibli Clock Designed by Hayao Miyazaki, the Ghibli Clock is a 10-meter-high x 18-meter-wide automated clock in Tokyo’s Shiodome district. It was sculpted by 3D modeling artist Kunio Shachimaru who also created a robot soldier on the roof of the Ghibli Museum. Coincide your visit with its five weekday movements (12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm), with an additional one on weekends at 10:00 am. Be sure to arrive at least 3 minutes before the hour when all the action begins! A-san no Niwa (“Mr. A’s Garden”) Mr. A’s Garden Mr. A’s Garden Designed by Studio Ghibli founder, Hayao Miyazaki, A-san no Niwa (“Mr. A’s Garden”) is situated in the leafy residential Tokyo neighborhood of Asagaya. It originated as an old house dating from the Taisho era that people said was the kind of house that Totoro (from the Studio Ghibli classic “My Neighbor Totoro”) would live in.It became known locally as the “Totoro House” but sadly burned down during a fire in 2009. After Hayao Miyazaki heard about the tragedy, he decided to design a beautiful park in its place, centered around a small building that’s actually a public restroom. Nukumori no Mori(“Forest of Warmth”) Forest of Warmth Forest of Warmth Located in the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture, Nukumori no Mori (“Forest of Warmth”) is a fairytale-like village nestled in an enchanted forest that’s gaining in popularity for its Ghibli-esque atmosphere. It’s clustered with cottages and mushrooms that appear as though they’ve been built by elves or fairies, as well as a handful of stores selling jewelry, gifts, and cakes. The main store is called the Cottage of Warmth and is packed with furniture, ceramics, and candles for visitors wanting to create their own fairytale house. It also has a room dedicated to Studio Ghibli items, such as puzzles, toys, and tableware.URL:http://www.nukumori.jp/ Attractions based on particular anime films Attractions based on particular anime films If you’re looking for attractions themed around a particular Studio Ghibli anime film, we’ll introduce some of the most popular spots to visit below. ―Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Tomonoura Tomonoura Tomonoura Ponyo, the eponymous fish heroine of Ghibli’s 2008 nautical adventure, was created during a two-month research trip to Tomonura. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it: this tiny port town at the southern end of Hiroshima Prefecture’s Fukuyama City is small but incredibly picturesque. For the full scoop on its history, visit the Museum of History and Folklore, then walk along its coast for Ponyo-esque scenes of busy fishermen, bobbing boats and Edo-period stone lighthouses.Read moreThe Studio Ghibli Heritage in TomonouraThe scenery in the 2008 movie “Ponyo” is largely derived from Tomonoura.” … Tomonoura ―My Neighbor Totoro #1 Satsuki and Mei’s House Satsuki and Mei’s House Fans of “My Neighbor Totoro” can head to Satsuki and Mei’s House at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute City. It’s a life-size recreation of the house where Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei lived and was created for the World Exposition in 2005 that was themed around “Nature’s Wisdom”. #2 Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory #3 Totoro's Forest Totoro's Forest Totoro's Forest ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 22. September. 2019
2019 April Best Events in Japan
- April in Japan is known for its pleasant days and pastel cherry blossoms. But the inviting weather offers ample travel opportunities aside from the sakura events. This guide will give you great recommendations for April events across Japan that aren’t solely focused on sakura. Miyako Odori (都をどり) Miyako Odori Miyako Odori Miyako Odori Inuyama Festival (犬山祭) Inuyama Festival Inuyama Festival Taking place in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, from April 6th to 7th, what sets this festival apart is the “Yoyama.” Traditional floats with 365 lanterns parade through the nighttime city, illuminating cherry trees and bustling streets alike—an ethereal experience not soon to be forgotten. The lanterns are lit around 6p.m. Takayama Spring Festival (春の高山祭り) Takayama Spring Festival Takayama Spring Festival Takayama Spring Festival Kamakura Festival (鎌倉まつり) Kamakura Festival Kamakura Festival From Sunday to Sunday, April 14th to 21st, Kamakura holds its annual spring festival. Of particular interest is the “yabusame,” or mounted Japanese archery. This time-honored display features an archer shooting targets while riding a galloping horse, and it takes place at 1 p.m. on April 21st. Shibazakura Season (芝桜) HitsujiyamaPark Hitsujiyama Park (羊山公園) in Saitama Prefecture is famous for its vibrant spring arrangements of shibazakura, or moss phlox, and it’s easy to see why. With 9 varieties of shibazakura covering an area of 17,600 sq. meters, this park blossoms into a vivid wonderland during the Shibazakura Festival from April 12th to May 6th. The crown jewel of the event, Shibazakura Hill, is sure to wow you. URL：https://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_flower/1808/ Ōfuji Festival, Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク 大藤まつり) Ōfuji Festival, Ashikaga Flower Park Ōfuji Festival, Ashikaga Flower Park Featuring a 150-year-old wisteria tree whose lavender blossoms fall from 1,000 sq. meters of trellis, the Great Wisteria Festival offers up a different shade of spring. White, yellow, and pale red wisteria form serene tunnels while azalea bushes blush from below. Expected event dates are from April 13th to May 19th, with nighttime light-ups also planned. Kurayami Festival at Ōkunitama Shrine (くらやみ祭) Kurayami Festival at Ōkunitama Shrine Known as the Darkness Festival, this lively event runs from April 30th to May 6th in Fuchu City. The main spectacles take place at night, such as the procession of traditional floats and the “komakurabe,” a horseback competition where 6 riders take 3 individual laps through the street. URL：https://www.ookunitamajinja.or.jp/matsuri/5-kurayami.php ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 28. February. 2019
- Many visitors to Tokyo think they need to hop on a bullet train for several hours and head towards Kyoto to feel and experience a town that has retained a genuine aesthetic of “old Japan”. But actually, just thirty minutes in the opposite direction will take you to a little-known city that is an excellent example of Japan from a bygone era. This is the city of Kawagoe!Kawagoe is located in Saitama prefecture, with excellent travel connections in and out of central Tokyo. Kawagoe flourished as a prosperous castle town during the 17th century in the Edo period, the local community at the time was made up of successful merchants who took advantage of their location close to the capital city, while also being within easy reach of large swaths of rural Japan. The feudal lord of Kawagoe in the Edo period had a clock tower erected in the city center during his reign, so that local workers could keep track of the time - this bell tower still stands today, surrounded on all four sides by narrow streets that are lined with rows of merchant storehouses that are now used to house a number of shops, businesses and private residences. This part of town retains such a strong feeling of Japan in a bygone era it has adopted the nickname “Koedo” (little Edo). Many Tokyoites make the short trip out to Kawagoe and slowly stroll the streets, giving them a strong feeling of going back in time to the “good old days”.Kawagoe is also home to one of the most important temples in the Greater Tokyo area, Kita-in Temple, first built in 830. Within the sprawling grounds of the temple are 540 stone statues of the disciples of Buddha, each with their own distinct facial features. The nearby Kawagoe Castle no longer stands, except a small section of the inner-ground, that has been turned into a museum. There are various other shrines and temples located around the city too, making Kawagoe an excellent place to visit and learn about local historical heritage.Another draw to Kawagoe is the food. Traditionally, wealthy families from Tokyo would make the trip to Kawagoe to sample its high-end “kaiseki” Japanese food, in exquisite surroundings. Many of these places still operate today, with some accepting walk-in customers without a reservation. Also, tucked away down one of the back alleys of Koedo, is “Kashiya Yokocho” (Candy Lane), a narrow street packed with small shops selling a variety of traditional Japanese sweets. The simple, nostalgic taste will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your desire to experience traditional Japan.The best way to experience all of the above is by foot, but for those who would rather ride in luxury there are several rickshaw stations dotted about the town where you can have your own private cart pulled along by an energetic young local, or a loop bus that stops at all of the sightseeing spots. The loop bus offers information in both Japanese and English, and is also wheelchair friendly. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 10. March. 2018
Saitama Main Areas
Eclipsed by neighboring Tokyo, Saitama is often branded as the sleepy suburbs. However, look a little deeper and you’ll uncover quaint towns bursting with history and crafts from the kurazukuri Edo-period clay houses of Kawagoe to the ancient tree-enveloped temples of Chichibu.
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