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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cherry Blossom along Tokigawa River Bank
Along a 2-km length of the Tokigawa River, a total of 250 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.
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.”
Important Annual Events in Ranzan
Ranzan Festival (Jidai Matsuri Festival)
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.
This shrine is unique as its name includes a letter representing a demon. The deity enshrined here is Kunadono-kami. At the Setsubun Festival, people scatter beans saying “Fuku wa uchi! Oni wa uchi! Akuma soto! (“Happiness in, Demons in, Devils out!”).
Sennen-no Sono Lavender Field
The lavender field was opened in June, 2019. Approx. 50,000 lavenders are planted on the vast 8ha field. This is the largest lavender field in the Kanto region (the site will be extended to 10ha in the future).
Visitors can enjoy picking lavenders and can try making a fancy work using lavender.
Food & Specialties of Ranzan
Local Sake “Omurasaki”
Farmers in Ranzan take upmost care to grow sake rice using chemicals and fertilizer as little as possible. Together with the natural mineral water from the Chichibu district and traditional technique of the Nabu Toji sake master, this Ginjo sake presents a refined taste.
“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.
“Musashi Ranmaru” is a cute local mascot character of Ranzan Town. Ranmaru-yaki is a sweet bun made with flour produced in the town. There are two different types of sweet red bean filling inside: coarse or silky. There is a plan to produce a new flavor using chestnut in autumn.
B-Grade Gourmet “Ranzan Spicy Motsu Yakisoba”
This is a very delicious Yakisoba (fried noodles) with motsu giblets and other foodstuffs cooked with 17 spices. The pig giblets are very chewy, super spicy and super tasty. The slight sweetness of the rich sauce, thick noodles, crispy cabbage and bean sprouts, and the spiciness and umami of pig giblets match perfectly.
- Musashi Ranzan Station on the Tobu Tojo Line
- Business Support Section, Ranzan Town Hall
- TEL：0493-62-0720 / FAX：0493-62-0713
- URL： http://www.town.ranzan.saitama.jp/