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A lesson and message of peace from World War II
Price: 0 yen
I didn't know what to expect before visiting, so my expectations were quite low. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is the Peace Museum of Saitama much more interesting than I had anticipated, there is also a lot more to it than a lesson in and message of peace. People of all ages could spend an hour or so exploring the museum and even longer enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
You ride a moving walkway through a tunnel to enter the main exhibit hall. There you will find a recreated school house, traditional Japanese room and world war II bunker. The school house is small, but you can enter it and look around. You get the feel of a pre-war classroom in Japan. They have an educational video you can watch while sitting at a school desk from the 1940s. Behind this is the bunker, that you can also enter. Beside it they information in Japanese about bunkers from the time. There is a small room behind that with TV screens where you can privately watch, with your own headsets, messages of peace and stories of World War II by survivors. It is exceptionally poignant, you might want to have some tissues if you plan to watch this excerpts. There are other exhibits in the room with actual paraphernalia from world war II.
In the reception area they have traditional toys, colouring and stamps to participate in stamp rallies which they have frequently. They have a great observation tower too, which is 12 stories high. They host events and show movies during summer vacation. The gardens and neighbouring park are resplendent and it is a popular spot to enjoy vibrant Autumnal colours.
The Peace Museum of Saitama is free as is parking. It opens 9 am to 4.30 pm Tuesday to Sunday. By bus you access from Tobu Tojo Line Takasaka Station and take a bus bound for "Hatoyama new town" (Kawagoe Kanko Bus), get off at "Daito Bunka University bus stop" and walk approx 8 minutes.