Oak Explorers: Warabi
Oak Explorers: Warabi
The Oak Explorers head out to show you some great spots in Warabi city. It is 23 minutes from Ikebukuro by train on the JR Keihin Tohoku line, Warabi station. Ito from marketing, first-time Explorer and house manager Shinozaki, and Oakhouse resident Ayano explore!
Easy access to Tokyo or Omiya
Charms of Warabi
You may not have heard of Warabi city. In fact it's a hard Chinese character to read. But you can get to Ikebukuro from here in 23 minutes by changing trains at Akabane, or get to Omiya station in 16. In other words it has great access to the rest of Tokyo too. It's the smallest city in Japan with a large population! So what is there to find in Warabi?
Warabi east exit: many chain stores
Outside the east exit is a supermarket open from 6am to 2am, and many chain restaurants, and sushi. Perfect for any situation.
Relaxed west exit of Warabi
Stroll down a historic street
Different from the modern bustle of the chain restaurants, outside the west exit you will find a more relaxed feel. The main shopping street has many boutiques, shops, and cafes, and the street hosts seasonal festivals and Halloween events. Along the smaller street you will find the historic Nakasendo, a traveling path from the Edo period. It has a unique Japanese feel!
Nakasendo Warabi shopping street
Sanuki udon Shikokuya
Refreshing Japanese space
This is a place that specializes in traditional udon-making. We sat by the big open window. Shinozaki ordered zaru udon, and Ayano ordered tempura udon. The noodles were reeeeally long, and made by hand! Soft, chewy, and delicious. During the afternoon they have donburi options too. In the evenings they have course menus and a large alcohol list too!
2-8-6 Kitamachi, Warabi, Saitama
Kudamono no Nakatsu
This store sells local Saitama produce. The building looks like an old Japanese house.
There are cold drinks out front, so Shinozaki bought a cold ramune soda. He said it was like being a kid again!
See what else they have throughout the seasons!
Nakasendo Warabi shopping area
Handmade Sembei Manjuya
Take a break with Japanese snacks
Sembei shop Manjuya along Nakasendo is 150 years old. They have a showcase showing their many different types of snacks along the counter. We chose sembei wrapped in seaweed. You can also eat inside. They also have shaved ice, soft-serve, and shirotama zensai. Enjoy them with Japanese tea!
2-10-9 Kitamachi Warabi Saitama
Warabi's biggest temple
This temple has statues and areas dedicated to praying for raising children, fire prevention, good luck, salvation, and illness prevention. Further within are more buildings dedicated to the Nio guardians and Amida Buddha. There are many beautiful sights here, it's almost like being in Kyoto! You can spend some nice time reflecting and walking around here.
3-2-4 Kitamachi Warabi Saitama
Bagels and muffins
This bagel and muffin shop first opened the day before we came exploring! They bake items with many ingredients such as cheese, satuma potato, sesame, raisins, burdock root, and more. We had a hard time choosing!
Hachi-hachi Bagel Warabi
3-3-13-A Chuo Warabi Saitama
Old fashioned cafe
We wanted to take a break from walking around, so we ducked into this old-fashioned cafe. We had drinks and pudding a la mode. It's a very nice and relaxing cafe, you could even go by yourself. They have a morning menu, pilaf, omuraisu, napolitan pasta, and more.
3-19 Shibashinmachi Warabi Saitama
We hope you enjoyed as we explored this little-known city. We had fun! It has a deep history and we found so much just walking around. We found so many other nice places that we couldn't fit into this report as well. It's a place that mixes the new with the old. We hope you've taken an interest in Warabi too!