Saitama is often overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbor Tokyo, but for those who care to look closer, Saitama abounds with amazing experiences. Take a trip to Bonsai Village in Omiya and appreciate this ancient Japanese art, or hike one of Saitama's many stunningly beautiful mountain trails. Anime fan? You’ll love Sayama Hills, also known as Totoro's Forest, where you can relive scenes from My Neighbor Totoro.
For an easy day trip from downtown Tokyo, check out Koedo (Little Edo) in Kawagoe city where you can take a leap back in time to the Edo era (1603-1867) with its meticulously preserved buildings. The best way to take in all that traditional architecture is at one of the many cafes in Kurazukuri warehouse district.
Of course, half the fun of traveling is the food, and Saitama is no slouch in this department – some of the most must try local dishes here include tofu ramen, miso potatoes and fresh, delicious unagi (eel) in summer. Knock that all back with some ice cold Coedo beer and you're having a good day!