The place known as the "City of Dolls." The view of the 600 cherry trees blooming in the ruins of Iwatsuki Castle is unforgettable.
Iwatsuki-ku of Saitama City is located approximately in the center of the Kanto Plain. Iwatsuki prospered not only as the castle town for Iwatsuki Castle but also as a post town on the Nikko-Kaido Road (the road from Edo, now called Tokyo, to Nikko). The castle grounds have been converted into Iwatsuki-koen Park. The spring season is beautiful when the 600 cherry trees bloom around Shobu-ike Pond, or the iris pond, especially when viewed from Yatsuhashi Bridge, with its red parapets. Crowds come to enjoy the cherry blossoms. "Toki-no-Kane," or the "Time-keeping Bell," constructed in the 17th century, still rings three times a day to remind us of the past when Iwatsuki was a castle town.
Doll-making started around the 17th century in Iwatsuki and became famous with the production of Hina-ningyo dolls for the girls' celebrations in March and Gogatsu-ningyo dolls for the boys' celebrations in May.
From Hina-ningyo dolls made 300 years ago during the Edo Period to contemporary dolls, Gogatsu-ningyo dolls with fierce expressions wearing armor, karakuri-ningyo mechanical dolls, and antique dolls from abroad are all exhibited in the Togyoku Dolls Museum. The Tokyu Dolls Exhibition Center shows the doll manufacturing process. Both are located in the city.
[Rail] 47 min from Tokyo to Omiya Station by JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, and 11 min from Omiya to Iwatsuki Station by Tobu Noda Line.