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Walking the streets of Soka wearing yukata 

September 2018

 

 

 

I am Ms. A, a member of the Saitama Prefecture Tourism Division.

 

This time I will introduce “yukata” and “Soka Matsubara” in Soka City.

 

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Soka City once prospered in the yukata fabric dyeing industry. The peak period was about 100 to 50 years ago, but craftsmen still use the same dyeing techniques to produce yukata fabric and towels.

 

This time we visited “Shinmei-an”, where you can borrow a Soka Yukata from July to September.

(1500 yen per day, reservation is required 3 days before visit)

 

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They prepare everything that is necessary for wearing a yukata.

Male yukata is also available, so couples can enjoy the experience together.

 

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The people that dress you are professionals, so it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per person to get dressed.

Soka Yukatas are characterised by mixing the obi (belt) colors consistency with the earthy colors of the yukata.

 

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After changing clothes we took a walk in “Soka Matsubara”, a famous location in Soka City.

If you start walking from Shinmei-an, you will see a bronze statue that looks like an old traveler on the left side.

 

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This is “Matsuo Basho”, the most famous poet in Japan!

But rather, his disciple, “Kawai Sora”.

In the diary “Oku no Hosomichi”, it is written that Matsuo Basho and Kawai Sora traveled all over Japan on foot and is said to have arrived in Soka on the first day.

 

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After passing the building with the big catfish, you can finally see the statue of Matsuo Basho.

There are several statues of Matsuo Basho all over Japan, but it seems that this one has the most handsome face.

 

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In the park adjacent to the river (Fudaba-kashi) there is a resting place and an observation deck.

 

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The pentagonal observation platform is designed so you can climb up a spiral staircase after you enter the building.

 

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If you exit by the river, there are a lot of pine trees that are planted on both sides of the sidewalk, which is maintained for easy walking. The total length is 1.5 km.

 

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At the end of the beautiful promenade, which was designated as one of the country’s best scenic spots, there is also a cultural hall called “Parisse”.

 

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Soka City is known for “Soka Senbei (rice crackers)”, “Honsome Yukata”, and “Leather Goods”.

There is a large senbei model, leather product samples, and yukata cloth exhibition in the hall.

You can also buy souvenirs here.

 

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They have many different senbei that vary in hardness, size, and flavor so you can look forward to finding the one that fits your taste perfectly.

 

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Soka City is also known for their harps, and there is an International Harp Festival that is held annually.

 

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While cooling down at the coffee shop on the second floor, I got “anmitsu (syrup-covered bean jam)”.

 

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Admission Fee

1day 1,500yen

Booked 3 days in advance

Soka city website (Language: ENG/KOR)

Opening

From 11:00 to 16:00

(closed every Monday)

Venue

Soka Shinmei-an

1-6-14, Shimmei, Soka-shi, Saitama, 340-0012, Japan

Phone 048-922-2403(English available)

12 minutes' walk from Soka Station

About 25 minutes by train from Asakusa Station via the Tobu Skytree Line

Map

Google map

 

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