Sakitama Kofun Park
Reflecting on the prosperity of ancient powers
before huge historic kofun
Located in Oaza Saitama, Gyoda, Sakitama Kofun Park is a park surrounding a group of Saitama kofun (ancient Japanese tomb), which is designated as a National Historic Site. "Sakitama" is the origin of the name "Saitama." There are 9 kofun including Maruhakayama, which is said to be the largest round barrow in Japan and Futagoyama and Inariyama, which are among the largest keyhole-shaped kofun in Kanto. The kofun that may have been built one after another from the late 5th century to the early 7th century are on a fertile land between the Tone River and the Arakawa River. The kofun, unearthed articles and a reconstructed old folk house are under the management of the park.
All the keyhole-shaped kofun are built facing the same direction and have rectangular double moats. These remain unsolved mysteries even today. Musashi Saitama Inariyama Kofun is best known among them. The discovery of the famous national treasure "Kinsakumeitekken" (gold-inlaid iron sword) which appears in social studies school textbooks attracted lots of attention to this kofun. The iron sward inlaid with 115 characters including the words “I served Gokatasiru Okimi" (assumed to be an emperor in around the 5th century) revealed that the influence of central authority reached north Kanto around the 5th century. Estimated to be created in 471, the sword is an invaluable piece of history. From the many excavated articles including armor and harnesses/trappings we can infer that there was influence from those coming from the Korean Peninsula on people's lives at the time. You can see the original "Kinsakumeitekken" national treasure in the Museum of the Saitama Ancient Burial Mounds.
Address: 4834 Oaza Saitama, Gyoda City, Saitama
Phone: 048-559-1111 (Museum of The Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds)
Admission Fee: Free
Directions: (Train) Take Asahi Bus for Gyoda Shako via Sama at Fukiage Station on the JR Takasaki Line (about 60 minutes from Tokyo Station,) get off at Sangyodoro and walk for 15 minutes. (Car) 20 minutes from Hanyu Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway.