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Adventure. Relaxation. Adventure. Relaxation. Off to Higashimatsuyama but can't figure out what kinda holiday you want? Don't get in a flap! We'll help sort it out.
The country's capital, Tokyo, can be found 50 kilometres to the southeast of Higashimatsuyama.
Does relaxing on the shore sound like a good way to spend a day? Organise an excursion to Yuigahama or Shichirigahama.
Searching for a day out in nature? Hop in the car and make your way out to Mount Takao, 50 kilometres away from Higashimatsuyama. Alternatively, get out into the fresh air at Navel Park, 35 kilometres away.
The Shoboji Temple and Yakyu Inari Shrine are captivating holy places that are waiting to be explored.
Get ready to experience some exciting baseball action at Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa, 30 kilometres away. Don't forget to encourage home team the Saitama Seibu Lions by wearing a few pieces of blue, white and red!
Once you've grabbed your ski pass at Chateraise Ski Resort Yatsugatake, you won't want to waste any time making your way to the top of the slope! You may also like to ride the chairlift and check out the trails at Pilatus Tateshina Ski Area.
Don't forget to head to other close-by attractions, such as Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park and the Hoanji Temple. You will find them 5 kilometres east in Yoshimi-machi. Don't want to give back the rental car just yet? The Yukoku-ji Temple and the Monjuji Temple are in Namegawa, 6 kilometres to the northwest of Higashimatsuyama.
Spend a day exploring the Toyama Memorial Museum of Art, the Kotokuji Temple and the Senpukuji Temple. These sights are all quite close to the middle of Kawajima-machi, 9 kilometres away. If you're after more, The Remains of Okegawa Flying Training School and Kitamoto Nature Observation Park should also be on your travel plan.
Your eyes shouldn't get to have all the fun while visiting Saitama. Give your taste buds a little love as well by trying out the local food and beverage offerings. After all, you haven't really experienced a place until you've tasted its flavours.
This part of the world has a unique cooking style centred on local tastes and traditional ingredients. You'll find beef and noodles are two common elements in many of the meals.
When Higashimatsuyama residents talk about food, it's likely you'll hear tempura (deep fried seafood or vegetables) or sushi (raw seafood on vinegar rice) mentioned once or twice. These classic dishes form part of the region's identity and ought to be on any foodie's must-eat list.
If you're not one to skip dessert, you should definitely acquaint yourself with anpan (sweet roll). This sweet treat represents the region in just one mouthful.
For those who love a satisfying pint, look for a cosy bar and say Asahi Premium Beer Jukusen. Enjoy it with a side of joke-cracking and mixing with the locals.
Want to really get your night started? A few rounds of junmaishu should do the trick! Straight up or in a fancy cocktail — the choice is yours!
Take advantage of your transit time by learning some phrases in Japanese. You may be glad you learnt 'Ikura desu ka?', which translates to 'how much is this?'. 'Gokoūn o inorimasu' ('good luck') is just one more you might need.
You're bound to sense a party atmosphere in the air around the 23rd of December. The locals will be getting ready for Birthday of Emperor Akihito, a day of nation-wide celebrations.
Before you pack up and say "後でお会いしましょう (Atode o ai shimashou)", why not spend the last bits of your holiday allowance and treat yourself to some souvenirs of Higashimatsuyama?
When the time comes to pack your suitcase and head back home, the closest terminal, Haneda Airport (HND), is 65 kilometres to the southeast.
^Savings based on all package bookings made with Flight + Hotel on lastminute.com.au from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.