埼玉・Saitama; Prefecture immediately North of Tokyo
ださい・Dasai; Uncool, Unfashionable
Short answer, yes. I’ve lived in Tokyo, Chiba and Saitama. And it goes without saying the least pleasant place of them all is, by a long shot, Saitama. The foods not as good, the bars are not as fun, the Locations aren’t as interesting- it’s as expensive as Tokyo without the perks and the people are not so friendly.
A diamond in the muck if you will and no offense intended to the netizens of Saitama, if you can find happiness there then it can’t be all so bad. But the biggest regret of my life here in Japan was moving to Saitama.
“I could be in south Tokyo”, I whine. “Life was so much better in Fukuoka”, I moan. “Nothing beats living in Osaka”, I mutter bitterly as I cry myself to sleep.
So after that little passage I’m sure you’re already packing your bag to Omiya!
Well sorry for my sub par writing but I am trying to be a little facetious- it really isn’t that bad and has harsh competition compared to its far better neighbours, namely Tokyo, Chiba and the golden boy Kanagawa, but there are some saving graces at Saitama’s disposal. Some saving graces, diamonds in the muck.
Curtain roll on Omiya!
Omiya is a huge transit city, connecting to several of Japan’s major cities via it’s bullet train routes and various other transport options. With 22 platforms in its station, restaurants and bars for days, Omiya is often referred to as little Shinjuku for its glossy exterior and dark underbelly.
Oh it also has a railway and bonsai museum…
This blog, however will take you to Omiya’s gorgeous temple area-
After strolling down a very romantic autumn pathway down to the main garden, you will be greeted by the usual mix of scents; street food, trees and incense.
The temple grounds themselves are a random sequence of small shrines dotted around the overgrowth. This place has a seriously thick atmosphere, the rich colours and dark environment do give you a sense that you have gone back in time in a way you won’t feel with the more popular temples you see around today.
Continuing down the narrow bridges and pathways, you will get the main attraction, the enormous Hikawa Shrine surrounded by trees infested with crows. Which only adds to the ghostly feeling this place gives off.
Have you ever been to Saitama? What did you think? Let me know via message or the comments below!
Until next time,