Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県) is a Japanese prefecture on the main island of Honshu. The capital of Saitama Prefecture is Saitama. Considered part of the Greater Tokyo Area, Saitama’s cities are usually considered suburbs of Tokyo.
The recorded history of Saitama Prefecture dates back the early 8th Century when copper deposits were first found in what is now the Chichibu District. The area was also long known for its agricultural production, producing most of the food for Kanto. Multiple daimyos ruled their smaller domains in the Saitama era during the Edo period for this reason. Up until the Han System was abolished during the Meiji Restoration, Saitama Prefecture was known as Musashi Province.
Since 1960, the population of Saitama Prefecture has more than tripled in response to an overflow of development from Tokyo and a lack of land in metropolitan areas. Most cities in Saitama are now connected to Tokyo via rapid transit and subways and contain homes for commuters.
The cities located in Saitama Prefecture include:
The districts and towns located in Saitama Prefecture include:
Many popular attractions in Saitama draw a number of tourists each year. The most popular of these annual draws include:
Additionally, the Chichibu Night Festival is held each year at the Chichibu Shrine on December 2 and 3 and dates back more than 300 years. It is known for its parading of six wooden floats that each weigh more than 10 tons. It is among the three largest and most popular traditional float parades in Japan along with the Gion Festival of Kyoto and the Hida-Takayama Festival of Gifu.