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Aug 16, 2019

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan

Ogano Town is an area of the Chichibu District in the mountainous region of Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. Due to its altitude, Ogano Town is marginally cooler than other areas of Saitama during the day, but considerably cooler during the night. It is a beautiful, nature-filled area with lots of hiking and off the tourist trail attractions. Here is a selection of five summer spots in Ogano Town that my family and I have enjoyed.


1. Chichibu Muse Park

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan photo


Chichibu Muse Park is a sprawling hill top park that enjoys some refreshing winds all year round. They are most welcome in the height of summer making this a top spot to enjoy during the season. There is a huge amount of things to do in Chichibu Muse Park for individuals, couples, groups and families. Some of the activities on offer are not available elsewhere in Saitama, such as the laser tag outdoor game which was the first of its kind in Japan. 


Some of the activities available in Chichibu Muse Park in Saitama:

  • Seasonal outdoor pools
  • Treetop athletic in the Forest Adventure Chichibu branch
  • Camping
  • F1 Go karting
  • Nature guides
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Various playgrounds
  • Rental bikes with tandem and pedal cars also available

This is not an exhaustive list, it is just a sample of some of the things you can enjoy in Chichibu Muse Park. They also have many annual events including summer-only events such as firefly viewing. 


Season: the park is open all year round, but some of the attractions (such as the seasonal outdoor pool) are only open for fixed periods during the year

Hours: the park is open 24 hours, but areas within the park and car parks have varying hours - generally 9 am to 5 pm

Cost: the park and parking is free, but activities such as laser beam tag survivor game, tree top athletic, bike rental etc have individual charges

Address: 2518 Nagaru, Ogano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama 368-0102

Access:  Take a bus from Seibu Chichibu station to Muse park. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes depending on what bus stop you get off at. There are at least twelve car parks at the vast scenic park. All of them are free. 


2. Midori No Mura

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan photo


Midori no Mura is a cabin campsite and park nestled in lush hilly greenery. The park has a playground and a cafe all year round, and in summer there is a nice wading river to cool down in. Midori no Mura used to have pools, but they seem to have closed them this year. We have stayed in the spacious cabins here and loved the cooler night time temperatures during the summer. The park run a number of seasonal events, many of them child friendly. 


Season: the park is open all year round, but the cabins only run from April to October. 

Hours: the park is open 24 hours, but areas within the park and car parks have varying hours - generally 9 am to 5 pm

Cost: the park and parking is free, but obviously you have to pay to stay in the cabins. They are reasonable, especially for their size, at about 14,000 yen per night

Address: 853 Iida, Ogano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama 368-0111

Access:  Access is a little tricky by public transport. By car it is easy to miss the entrance, but we found Google Maps directed us well.


3. Ogano Deer Park

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan photo


Ogano Deer Park is so off the tourist trail it makes it onto no tourist map for Ogano. It is a small, but endearing (I couldn't resist) free deer park near the main area of the town. You can roam up the side of Ogano Deer Park where the deer are (unfortunately) enclosed, for free. It costs only 50 yen to feed the deer. There is a little playground beside the deer, pictured above.


Season: there is no official website for this deer park and there isn't even any information on the town's website, but it seems to be open all year round according to information I was able to piece together online

Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday from from 9 am to 4 pm except in winter when it closes at 3 pm

Cost: free to enter, 50 yen to feed the deer

Address: 1408 Ogano, Ogano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama 368-0105

Access: like much of Ogano, the deer park is difficult to get to by public transport, but accessible by car. There is a small car park on the grounds.


4. Ogano bikers shrine

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan photo


Right beside the deer park there is the "bikers shrine". So named because thousands of bikers visit it each year to pay homage and pray for protection on their road trips. It is actually called Ogano Shrine, but in recent years people call it Ojika Shrine, even on Google Maps. They have some gimmicky biker photo props on the grounds, such as the one above. We just really enjoyed admiring all the motorbikes that were parked in the car park!


Season: all year round

Hours: no official opening hours

Cost: free to enter the grounds

Address: 1432 Ogano, Ogano-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama 368-0105

Access: same as before - best accessed by car, or rather bike! Free parking for about 30 bikes


5. Kakkaku Dam

Top 5 Summer Spots in Ogano Town, Saitama, Japan photo


The Kakkaku Dam is split between the Chichibu towns of Ogano and Yoshida. Due to its location and the massive body of water the area is cooler than in other parts of Saitama making it a top summer spot in region. There are some nice walks and hikes around the dam and some rest areas where you can sit and take in the view.


Season: all year round

Hours: no official hours

Cost: free

Address: Hio, Ogano, Chichibu District, Saitama 368-0115

Access: this attraction like most others in Ogano with the exception of Chichibu Muse Park, is very hard to get to by public transport. Travelling by car is advised. 


Ogano is just one area of the Chichibu District. Its remote location means it is off-the-beaten-path and sees a limited number of tourists. It is quite hard to get to, but that has preserved the natural beauty and tranquility of the area. And thanks to its location in the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, Ogano enjoys slightly more bearable temperatures in the summer. I hope you get a chance to explore the region and maybe check out one of the top five summer spots in Ogano Town in Saitama Prefecture, Japan.  

Saitama

Saitama

Level 8 LocalGuide with Google. Blogging about life in Japan as an Irish WAHM to 4 kids on insaitama.com.


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