Saitama prefecture has a wealth of history, culture and landmarks, in addition to being a convenient suburb of Tokyo. The Railway Museum in Saitama City is the largest museum devoted to railways, where visitors can also experience operating a train in the popular driving simulator. The 1,200-year-old Kitain Temple in Kawagoe continues to captivate visitors with its sheer beauty and intriguing collection of 500 Buddha statues. And Kawagoe also boasts a uniquely designed Bell Tower in its Little Edo historical area that has become the city’s symbol.
Dolls today continue to play an important role in Japanese culture, both as business gifts since many dolls are considered good luck charms and for family celebrations. Iwatsuki Ningyo, made in Iwatsuki that became known as “the city of dolls,” is characterized by a round face with big eyes, smooth white skin and shiny silk hair. Edo Kimekomi Ningyo is another traditional doll, dressed with colorful fabrics that fit inside grooves carved into the body for a clean fit and shape.