Railway Museum - Museum: Omiya
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
Train enthusiasts shouldn't miss this impressive, expensively produced railway-history museum located about thirty minutes north of Shinjuku in Saitama Prefecture. The showpiece here is a collection of thirty-five real train cars and full-size...
Museum of History and Folklore - Museum: Omiya
[Open 9am-4:30pm (enter by 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
Exhibits at this small museum feature archeological finds from the area, including a pit dwelling from the Jomon period. There's also a collection of swords, and famous 16th-century scroll paintings depicting scenes from the medieval war chronicle...
Risu no Mori - Zoo: Omiya
[Open 10am-4pm. Closed Mondays.]
It's Squirrel Forest, one of several squirrel-centered mini-zoos scattered around Japan, although striped squirrels (aka chipmunks) seem to be more of the specialty here. Dozens of the little critters cavort around their woodsy setting, and...
Omiya Bonsai Village
Bonsai Art Museum - Museum: Omiya
[Open 9am-4:30pm (Mar-Oct); 9am-4pm (Nov-Feb). Closed Thursdays.]
Omiya's Bonsai Village sprang into life just after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, when many bonsai artists from Tokyo relocated here and established a community. Bonsai fans can start their neighborhood tour at this small museum, then visit...
Mansei-en - Retail: Omiya
One of the more interesting of the commercial bonsai nurseries here in Omiya's Bonsai Village, it's worth dropping in on after touring the Bonsai Museum just around the corner.
Fuyo-en - Retail: Omiya
Hundreds of bonsai trees are arrayed here in tiny forest-like splendor at this commercial bonsai nursery. The oldest and gnarliest specimens seem to be concentrated towards the back of the garden.
Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma - Shopping complex: Saitama-ken
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
The decor of this branch of Mitsui Outlet Mall is based on a forest theme, with leaf-shaped benches and woodsy artwork. Shops include Beams, Banana Republic, Franc Franc, Ralph Lauren, and dozens more.
Tobu Dobutsu Koen - Zoo: Saitama-ken
[Open 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays.]
Rare white tigers are the stars at this suburban zoo, which houses around 1200 animals from 150 species. There's also a petting zoo and a summertime firefly area. Attached to the zoo are an amusement park with thirty rides, and a summer-only water...
Ikea - Retail: Saitama-ken
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Located next to the Lalacity shopping mall at Shin-Misato station.