See More of Japan in Saitama Prefecture! ③ Outdoor Activities in Chichibu and Tokigawa
Saitama Prefecture is the go-to destination for Tokyoites looking to escape the hustle and bustle and discover glimpses of fresh greenery, flowing rivers, deep valleys, and clean air, all less than an hour from the big city. Saitama is Tokyo’s northern neighbor, just outside of the city, but its natural features like Mount Buko make it a favorite of anyone looking for a nice hike or little a camping trip. Whether you like to go crazy with your outdoor activities, or you prefer to just sit back and enjoy the mountain air, here are two ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Saitama.
Chichibu Geo Gravity Park
A recent addition to the Chichibu landscape, the Chichibu Geo Gravity Park is the place for thrills, but also views. Stretching across the Arakawa Valley, it’s Japan’s first “gravity activity park,” and the facility only opened in March 2019. The facilities are all built to let you revel in the power of gravity, and feel it with every inch of your body!
Their “Canyon Fly” is a dizzyingly high zipline across the valley, which is obvious just from the pictures, but staff will tell you that challenging yourself to face your fears is worth the effort. The view from high above the center of the valley is like nothing else.
The “Canyon Walk” ropebridge is a different kind of scary, since it requires quite a bit of commitment to get yourself all the way across, stepping from one little wooden plank to the next! But the scenery and fresh air are fantastic, and making it to the other side definitely leaves you with a sense of accomplishment!
Comoriver Tokitama Himitsu Kichi
The name of this campground means “secret base,” and it does feel like a secret escape from the city! Built along the Toki River that flows through Tokigawa, this rural little community is shockingly close to Tokyo.
Saitama Prefecture is known for having an abundance of great camping sites, and this one is particularly popular among fans of glamping―adding a little glamor to the camping experience. There are camping sites with Nordisk tents, as well as a little cabin complete with a mini-kitchen, air conditioning, and even wifi, so you can enjoy all the fun of camping, bonfires, BBQs, and roasting marshmallows, while indulging in some small luxuries. Plus, you don’t need to bring your own tent!
In the clear morning air, we recommend taking a stroll along the river, or enjoying a hot cup of tea as you watch the water flow by. Just don’t forget to bring plenty of supplies for s’mores (and maybe some sparklers or fireworks), so you can gather around the fire at the end of the day, and enjoy the dark, star-filled night sky with friends or family.
Saitama is full of outdoor destinations, ideal for nature lovers and anyone looking for a breath of fresh mountain air! Next time you’re in Tokyo, why not expand your horizons a little bit further, gather some courage, and venture out into the wilds of Tokyo’s northern neighbor?