Steam Engine Trains, Shaved Iced, and Shichimi Udon in Kumagaya, Saitama

Kanto Tour Kumagaya 2019.09.11
Hop on the next train for some Kumagaya gourmet treats!
Our second destination of the Saitama trip was Kumagaya.
This area is known to be a Shukuba【宿場:しゅくば】, a place where people rest along their journey, along Nakasendo【中山道:なかせんどう】, one of Edo Period's famous journey routes.

The area is also known for an unfortunate reason as the hottest city in Japan, but people see that aspect as an opportunity to enjoy the summer activities and cold desserts you can find around the area.
  • The Paleo Express departing from Kumagaya station
The Kumagaya rugby stadium
  • Preview of the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
One of the fields holding the games for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Kumagaya stadium is going to host three games out of all the matches, those are 
- Russia V.S. Samoa (Sept 24)
- Georgia V.S. Uruguay (Sept 29)
- Argentina V.S. USA (Oct 9)

The stadium holds up to 25,600 people and was built specifically for rugby games, which makes it unique in Japan. Therefore, they hold a lot of the Japanese top rugby leagues games, hence is one of the favourite stadiums amongst the Japanese rugby fans.
Yukikuma: A special shaved ice at Nishida-en
Sure, you have tried the shaved ice in Japan. There are many places that serve this Japanese summer dessert, but this...

Yukikuma is a special kind of Kakigori【かき氷:かきごおり】, shaved ice.
There are three conditions to meet to be called a Yukikuma.
1. The water used for the ice is sourced from Kumagaya's natural springs.
2. The blade is maintained well to shave the ice nice and soft to give it that smooth touch to the mouth.
3. Uses homemade syrups and ingredients.

Once all conditions are met, the shaved ice can be called Yukikuma【雪くま:ゆきくま】.
  • Genmaicha Azuki Milk flavour
    Genmaicha Azuki Milk flavour
    One of their specialty flavours which is a combination of Genmaicha【玄米茶:げんまいちゃ】 (green tea with roasted rice), Azuki【小豆:あずき】 (red bean paste) and condensed milk.
    The subtle bitterness of the green tea goes well with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the red bean paste.
Chano Nishida En
Address: 1523 Menuma, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0201 (Map)
Open Hours: from 9:00 till 19:30 Monday to Saturday
Blend your own spice to go with your Kumagaya udon at Kumatamaya!
  • Shichimi is a blend of seven different flavours using spices and herbs that are commonly available in Japan, and is one of the favourite condiments used in Japan.

    Here at Kumatamaya, you can make this spice with your own ratio of the blend.
    Do you like more of the hotness of chilli?
    Do you prefer the lovely roasted aroma of the toasted sesame seeds?
    Or do you love the citrusy flavours of powdered orange peel? 
    Add more of whatever you like!
  • Kumagaya being a place growing their own wheat, they are also famous for their Udon noodles.
  • Enjoy your noodles hot or cold.
Address: 〒360-0037 Saitama, Kumagaya, Tsukuba, 1-chōme−2−115 (Map)
located right inside the Kumagaya station.
Open Hours: from 10:30 till 20:00 every day.
The Paleo Express, a steam locomotive train running from Kumagaya to Mitsumineguchi Station in Chichibu.
Grab your ticket and hop on!
The Paleo express will take you on a journey of Saitama. 

Leaving from Kumagaya station this train will take you to Chichibu (our previous destination) through Nagatoro and other famous areas in Saitama.

We actually have an article that writes in detail about this steam locomotive.
Read more about the train ride here in our previous article
  • Running through the nature of Saitama near Nagatoro.
  • The cute tickets can be kept as a memorial souvenir.
That is it for our second destination!

Keep up with our Saitama trip that we've had during this summer. There are many more places to visit around the prefecture!

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