Kanto Koshinetsu/ Saitama Pref.

Ranzan 

Ranzan, Healing Town with Greenery and Pure Water

Ranzan is located almost right in the center of Saitama Prefecture within 60 km of central Tokyo. The major part of town is located on the Hiki Hills, which creates a varied landscape with mountains, a gorge and plateau. Furthermore, the area was known as the birthplace of Bando Musha (warriors from the eastern Japan) that produced Yoshinaka Kiso and Shigetada Hatakeyama, famous warriors from the end of the Heian to the Kamakura period.

In the early Showa period, when the first academic doctor of forestry, Seiroku Honda, visited this town overlooking the Tsukikawa River, he was impressed with the scenery and made a remark, “This place resembles to Arashiyama in Kyoto.” Musashi Ranzan later became the official name of the town when the government implemented the new municipal system. Today, Ranzan is a popular town with its greenery and clear water.

Sightseeing Highlights in Ranzan

Ranzan Gorge

A beautiful scenic area produced by the surrounding gorge and row of mountains. The town is named after this gorge. In 1998, this location was certified as the “Saitama Greenery Trust” due to its rich natural environment and became publicly-owned land.

Access A 30-min. walk from Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line, or an 8-min. by bus or taxi

100 Great Castles in Japan Part Two (Old Site of Sugaya Yakata; National Historical Site)

The Old Site of Sugaya Yakata was selected as one of Japan’s 100 Greatest Castles: Part Two, along with Sugiyama Castle. The castle was lived in by one of the famous warlords from the Kamakura period, Shigetada Hatakeyama and is constructed on flat land exhibiting a dynamic presence. On the premises, there is a museum of historical sites of Ranzan run by Saitama Prefecture.

Access A 10-min. drive from Ranzan Ogawa I.C. on the Kanetsu Highway, or a 20-min. walk or take a taxi from Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Kamagata Hachiman Shrine

The pure water in the precinct was said to have been used for the ubuyu, a baby’s first bath, of Yoshinaka Kiso, a famous warlord from the end of the Heian period.

Access A 40-min. walk or take a taxi from Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Great Purple Emperor Butterfly Park

This park is a trove of small creatures, especially the national butterfly of Japan, with the Great Purple Emperor (National Butterfly of Japan) as the highlight. Visitors can learn about nature in their biotope space.

Access A 25-min. walk or take a taxi from Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Cherry Blossom along Tokigawa River Bank

Along a 2-km length of the Tokigawa River, a total of 252 Somei Yoshino cherry trees were planted in an arching line. Every year, the Ranzan Cherry Blossom Festival is held from the end of March through early April. Many people come to the festival to have a great time.

Access A 40-min. walk or take a taxi from the Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Ranzan Gorge Barbecue Site

This is a popular barbeque destination in the Kanto region, only an hour from central Tokyo. Visitors can rent the gear and make a food reservation, so come empty-handed.

100 Great Castles in Japan Part Two (Old Site of Sugiyama Castle; National Historical Site)

Sugiyama Castle, a National Historical Site, was selected as one of the Japan’s 100 Greatest Castles: Part Two due to its highly acclaimed historical value amongst castles all over Japan. Sugiyama Castle was built on a steep mountain during the Sengoku period. Since its architectural design and structure is so skillfully constructed, it is often acclaimed as the “best example of a castle structure” and “the best castle built during the Sengoku period.”

Access A 5-min. drive from Ranzan Ogawa I.C. on the Kanetsu Highway, or a 40-min. walk or take a taxi from the Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Important Annual Events in Ranzan

Ranzan Festival (Jidai Matsuri Festival)

First Sunday of November

A variety of fun events are planned related to agriculture, tourism, culture, performing arts, community activity and welfare. Among them, especially the parade of Yoroi Musha warriors, a live performance of the matchlock gun and Yabusame, an acrobatic performance while mounted on a horse, are guaranteed to entertain the audience.

Setsubun Festival

February 3
Kijin Shrine

This shrine is unique in that it enshrines an Oni, a Japanese demon, as a deity. At the Setsubun Festival, people scatter beans saying “Fuku wa uchi! Oni wa uchi! Akuma soto! (“Happiness in, Demons in, Devils out!”).

Food & Specialties of Ranzan

Local Sake “Omurasaki”

This is a supreme Ginjo-shu made by a skilled Nanbu Toji sake specialist group, using fine quality rice harvested in Ranzan and natural water from the Chichibu district.

“Ranzan’s Speciality” at Ajisai Kobo

Ajisai Kobo is a group which produces a variety of food items using fresh vegetables grown in the Ranzan area. They welcome visitors with their delicious “Ranzan Food,” such as miso (fermented soybean paste), vegetables, Tansan Manju sweet buns, Oyaki crackers, handmade udon noodles, Karinto sweet crackers and much more.

Imo Yokan “Murasaki Imo” “Beni Azuma”

These sweets are made with the local sweet potato which is certified as a special agricultural crop by Saitama Prefecture. Their sophisticated taste lets consumers discover the natural sweetness of sweet potato.
*Available period is limited.

B-Grade Gourmet “Ranzan Motsu Yakisoba”

This is a very delicious Yakisoba (fried noodles) with motsu giblets and other foodstuffs cooked with 17 spices. Now there are 9 eateries that serve this special kind of yakisoba in and around Ranzan.

Access
Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line
Contact
Business Support Section, Ranzan Town Hall
TEL:0493-62-0720 / FAX:0493-62-0713
URL: http://www.town.ranzan.saitama.jp/

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