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Absolutely stunning in spring, but over-rated otherwise
Omiya park features in almost every family guide to Saitama and is highly rated online, however in my humble opinion it is totally over-rated for children. It is absolutely beautiful during cherry blossom season though and if you are planning to visit it, I would suggest this season. However, other than that period, there are far nicer parks to visit with children.
The free "zoo" is very old and it is just a few animals enclosed in spaces that are way too small for them. Due to the type of caging, you also can't see them very clearly. The zoo is strategically located beside a merry go round and some other play equipment that cost money. There isn't a great selection and it ends up not being "free". All that being said, if you live locally and don't have family there are some great sporting facilities in the park and it is home to the famous Hikawa Shrine, Nack 5 Stadium and a local baseball pitch.
If you can I advise you come by train as the station is close, but parking is miles away and involves using a foot bridge that is not stroller friendly.
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on Jun 7