What you can find at the recently opened Tokorozawa Sakura Town!

Tokorozawa Sakura Town was actually scheduled to open earlier this year, but the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the opening being pushed back to earlier this month. But what exactly is this curiously shaped structure and how do you get to it? Let’s take a quick look at Tokorozawa Sakura Town in Saitama!

Tokorozawa Sakura-Town consists of a cultural facility, accommodations, a book production and distribution plant and the publisher’s office. Image: iStock

If walking from the adjacent Higashi Tokorozawa Park, you’ll encounter this sign leading to Tokorozawa Sakura Town. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Getting to Tokorozawa Sakura Town

The newly renovated Higashi Tokorozawa Station! Photo: Scott Kouchi

If making the trek via train, the closest station is Higashi Tokorazawa Station on the Musashino Line. Coincidentally, this station finished renovations in November 2020 and has a surprisingly modern finish for this small residential neighborhood. Tokorozawa City, and other neighborhoods in Saitama, is proving to be a popular destination for those seeking a home near Tokyo that isn’t in Tokyo. For families, having more elbow room is an important factor in deciding on a livable neighborhood, and you can find space and calm in the residential neighborhoods of Saitama!

Right outside the station you’ll find a map pointing you towards Tokorozawa Sakura Town, which should help make your navigation a bit easier. It takes roughly 10 minutes to walk from the station to the plaza.

There’s plenty of parking available at the plaza, too, so arriving by car is also an option.

Kadokawa Culture Museum

Kadokawa Culture Museum, a 5-story museum packed with anime related exhibits! Photo: Scott Kouchi

This eye-catching structure in the middle of the plaza is actually a museum! The 5-story Kadokawa Culture Museum is a monument to the 75 years (and counting) of anime and manga published by Kadokawa Shoten. Fans of these hit titles (Cowboy Bebop, Lucky Star, Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc.) span generations and national borders, making this a nice destination for the anime or manga fan. Please be aware that as of now (November 2020), the majority (if not the entirety) of the plaza seemed to only have Japanese signage and materials!

Edit Town on the 4th floor of the Kadokawa Culture Museum. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Although you can technically enter the building without a ticket, you’ll need to purchase entrance tickets at the front desk (or reserve online) to check out any of the exhibits. These exhibits include the EJ Anime Museum, Manga/Light Novel Museum, Edit Town (library-esque space with over 25,000 books that you can read at your leisure), and Musashino Gallery.

Musashinosuwareiwa Shrine

Musashinosuwareiwa Shrine – perhaps a look at the future development of shrines in Japan. Photo: Scott Kouchi

This new shrine was designed by famed architect Kengo Kuma, who is also the designer of the New Olympic Stadium that was to host the 2020 Olympics. Inside, there is a large mural painted by Yoshitaka Amano, beloved illustrator for the long-standing Final Fantasy video game series. This shrine has been selected by the Anime Tourism Association as one of the 88 spots to visit in Japan to deepen your connection to anime.

Shops & Restaurants

This massive complex is also home to quite a few shops and restaurants, making it a pretty all-inclusive stop for a day trip. The Kadokawa Culture Museum is home to a cafe and a restaurant, and walking around the pavilion you’ll also run into:

  • Ramen Walker Kitchen
  • Sawaichi Udon and Sakura Brewery
  • MusashiRikyu Cafe
  • Tully’s Coffee

Visitors lining up and passing by the Ramen Walker Kitchen restaurant at Tokorozawa Sakura Plaza. Photo: Scott Kouchi

In addition to the various eateries, there is a New Daily Store convenience store and plenty of benches on the premises – making it easy to pick up a drink or snack on the go.

The DaVinci Store in Tokorozawa Sakura Town is a bookstore that is built on the concept of “discoveries and connections.”

Hotel & Event Hall

I did mention that the plaza is large, right? With future events being planned to utilize Tokorozawa Sakura Town, the hotel will provide a very convenient place to stay for out-of-towners.

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