This tour include Omiya Bonsai museum & village where several types of Bonsai are displayed in both inside the museum & outside garden and Kawagoe tour spots with nostalgic atmosphere of ancient Edo-Era such as Kura-machi street , Kawagoe-castle and Hikawa-Shrines which are both located in Saitama. You can enjoy Japanese traditional atmosphere and craftsman skill.
At your hotel in Tokyo
Omiya Bonsai museum which is one of the most famous Bonsai museum in Japan located in Saitama prefecture.
There are two types of Bonsai display circumstances. One is Bonsai Display in traditional Japanese Rooms called Zashiki-kazari. The other is Bonsai Display in garden called Bonsai garden. Various types of Bonsai are displayed in a garden considering the harmony between each Bonsai and the garden itself including the actual trees in background.
To visit one of Bonsai store within Bonsai village near the museum and see a lot variety of actual Bonsai display.
To see Kura store houses street in Kawagoe city where there are many houses built like a Kura with the walls covered in mud lined in the Kura-machi street which show the atmosphere of Edo period.
While walking through the street, you will find the symbol of Kawagoe as “Tokinokane/hour bell”. This is said to be built in Edo era by the feudal lord of Kawagoe who is said to be strict punctual load and the bell has still announced the time to Kawagoe citizen.
After going through the Kura-machi street to west by around 10 minutes walking, you will reach Honmaru palace of Kawagoe castle.
Kawagoe castle was built in 1848 by the feudal load at that time and a part of the palace has been remained as it was.
By walking around 5 minutes from the palace, you will reach Hikawa-shrine.
Hikawa-jinjya shrine is the local Shinto deity of Kawagoe. The deity of this shrine is Ohikawa-sama who has been worshipped and well known from many people. In near the back of Hikawa-shrine, you can find the river named as Shingashigawa which used to be a main artery as flow of goods between Edo and Kawagoe. This river is flowing by surrounding Kawagoe city.
At your hotel in Tokyo
Pick-up fee at your staying hotel in Tokyo,
Transportation inside Kawagoe city for a guide,
Transportation fee during this tour for you and a guide in case you move from hotel in Tokyo to Omiya (both way): JPY1140/ adult,
Transportation fee inside Omiya & Kawagoe for you: About JPY1000/ adult,
Entrance fee for you: Omiya Bonsai Museum: JPY310/ adult,
Kawagoe castle: JPY100/ adult,
I am now living in Gunma prefecture located around 100km north from Tokyo.
Therefore, if you reserve Kansai area such as Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Osaka, please request me at least one week in advance. We can exchange the idea of the tour.
1) For fairly long walking of sight -seeing, please put on the shoes to walk with ease.
2) Please prepare the cash to spend any train riding, lunch and souvenir.
3) I prepared the blog of Omiya Bonsai Museum with photos and detail explanation each shown as below,
Blog title: Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture
Just visited Tokyo from the US alone and hired Kashima for multiple calendar dates, including assistance from the airport via public transportation to my hotel. As a first time visitor and if you can manage the bags, I recommend train - and instead of a taxi. A train ride from the airport means that your immersion into everyday Japanese life and culture begins immediately, why wait? And with Kashima there explaining the signs and railway maps and helping me purchase my rail card, everything felt "less foreign" and relieved the apprehensions of being by myself. This also gave me an opportunity to begin a relationship with my incredibly friendly English-fluent guide. One thing that stands out is Kashima's level of preparedness for our tour schedule, even light "homework" for me. He recounted dates and eras of time into antiquity that displayed a deep reverence for Japanese history. As a former businessman, Kashima is also familiar with the current and previous operations of some of the big international conglomerates we're used to seeing in the US like Mitsubishi and Panasonic, and I found those details very interesting. As we saw the unflinching statuesque guards outside the sprawling architecture of the Imperial Palace, he impressed upon me the sense of duty and honor shared by the Japanese people. It was a very sobering experience. On the fun side, we visited several restaurants (one was "shoes-off") and we had drinks in the Golden Gai district. As I continue with this extra long review, here are a few notes: GoWithGuide exclusively uses its platform in order for you to contact your guide. This is not a problem because Kashima arrived early, dutifully, and prepared for each meeting. I actually had a different guide for one of my four guided days (just because I wanted to...) and the experience was the same - easy and flawless. Use the website on your phone for last minute updates, I had to message from the air that my flight was over an hour late. Be prepared for walking. There were several occasions on the train where there would be an escalator, but at the top of the escalator there's somehow a 2-story staircase. Young and old and very very old, the Japanese are not afraid of these things so don't get shown out by an 80-year old with a cane. Also, don't bring things on your tour that turn into trash. Japan is clean because of their culture, not because there are trashcans everywhere - there actually aren't any. Lastly, with Kashima's help, learn and speak a few words of Japanese with the locals - they appreciate your attempt, even if it sounds horrible. I'm SO glad I hired Kashima. He took me to several landmarks for pictures and information, helped me talk to shop owners, and really importantly - he helped me order food! He patiently answered my "what is that?" question a million times. Thank you Kashima-san (I hope I'm using that correctly!) for being my first welcoming face in Japan!
James san, Thank you so much for your utmost compliment review for me and writing your detail findings during your staying in Japan. At first, I am so pleased that you are so much friendly, open-minded and so much full of curiosity about all of Japan including people, train system, culture, craftsmanship skill, foods, history, Jazz session by Japanese players, night drinking, Japanese souvenir, English vs Japanese translation and so-on. That could make us quickly friendly just after we met at Haneda airport. Thanks to your millions of curiosities in Japan, we could exchange lots of conversation including my answers for your questions and the background explanation by me for each spot boosted by your strong energy. Just after removing the restriction from COVID 19 for about 2years 8moths, I could fully enjoy and learn a lot by guiding you. I appreciate very much for selecting me as a guide for your first visit in Japan. As you already know, I can handle the area of guiding not only in East Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, Hakone, Nikko, Gunma, Saitama, Kanazawa, Mt.Fuji) but also in West Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Hiroshima). Please refer my 20 numbers of tours and more than 50 numbers of blogs which are shown in GoWithGuide site. I am looking forward to guiding you again in Japan, nest time maybe you and your wife. Thanks, Kashima
Kashima was flexible and knowledgeable. We had an itinerary we wanted and he made it happen. We had a group of 14 which included 8 kids. He handled it fabulously!
Linda san, Thank you very much for your great and inspired review for me. It was great time for me to support you,your family and your friends with total 14 people for Mt.Fuji tour. We visited Mt.Fuji area such as Lake-Kawaguchi, Fugaku-Fuketsu, Mt.KachiKachi viewing by Ropeway, Ohhashi bridge hiking over Lake Kawaguchi, Ohishi park and Oshino Hakkai by using a Micro bus. The weather on the day was very fine and I was pleased that all your group could see no more beautiful Mt.Fuji at every visiting spots with the shape of different angle. Specially, I was very much impressed that all 8 kids enjoyed snow and throwing snowball each other which were piled up on the area because they saw actual snow at the first time there. Also, we could enjoy exchanging lots of conversation with you and your group about Japanese history, culture, famous people and daily life comparing with that in your country. I am looking forward to meeting with you again in near future. Thanks, Kashima
Kashima is very good guide who was extremely accommodating and took our U.S. family of 5 round trip from Kyoto to Osaka by train. He planned a very interesting day for us that we enjoyed immensely. A nice variety of sights and experiences at a good active pace. Definitely recommend!
Diane san, Thank you very much for your warm and utmost review for me. It was great time for me to support you and your family for Osaka tour. We visited Osaka castle, Dotonbori including river cruising, Kuromon market and Umeda sky building. I am very much pleased that you, your husband and your three children could have lots of experience and impression of these tour spots. Specially, Osaka castle related with Samurai top worriers with great historical background, the best eating streets in Japan by tasting various interesting foods and overwhelming Osaka night view from Umeda Sky building. Also, we could enjoy exchanging lots of conversation with you and your family about Japanese culture and daily life comparing with that in your country. I hope that you continue to enjoy Japan tour and I am looking forward to meeting with you and your family again in near future. Thanks, Kashima
I organised this tour on behalf of a teenager who is fascinated with the Yamato battleship so this tour had to be very customised and Kashima-San lived up to the challenge! The boy really enjoyed himself. The guide spoke good English, very polite and respectful and he was flexible with the schedule. In fact the family said that they would highly recommend Kashima-San to others who visits Hiroshima!
I-Lin san, Thank you very much for your great and utmost review for me. It was great time for me to support your mother and your family for Hiroshima tour. We visited Yamato-museum where we could see the models (1/10) of Battleship named “Yamato” and lots of other ships and actual objects of submarine & airplane “Zero fighter plane”. There are many historical background explanations, photos and actual objects & ship models exhibited which are historically very important ones manufactured before and during World War2. Also, we visited Atomic bomb dome and Peace memorial museum. I am pleased that we could enjoyed a lot. Specially, your mother's young boy is so clever and has lots of knowledge about Yamato and related Japanese history. I am so much impressive for him. He has so strong curiosity about the tour spots history and we could exchange lots of information each other. I am looking forward to meeting with you and your family again in near future. Thanks, Kashima