Soka City: Saitama's Sleepy Suburban Sights - Sort of

Alliteration is fun, although it makes my post title somewhat misleading.

Tokyo itself is a large city, split into 23 smaller wards, each of their own a city of its own. They each average about 375,000 residents, but especially commercial and office-intensive areas see those numbers swell as millions of suburbanites head into town for the daily grind. Those people come mainly from Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa Prefectures. Saitama lies to the north, with over 7 million residents. about a quarter of a million of them live in the 10-square-mile city called Soka.
 Once you get away from Tokyo, things become quite mundane. Trains travel past town after town, many of them almost identical; town centers have large apartments with dozens of stories while further out the rooftops get lower. Every station seems to have a convenience store or two (or three, or four...), a restaurant (or two, or three, or four), karaoke, bars, and so on. There are a few notable places in Saitama; Omiya is worth a full day, especially if you're a train fan, and Kawagoe, an old warehouse town that still looks like it did in the Edo period.
 But, once you've lived in an area for a while, you learn where the gardens and shops are. Someday I'll bring you a tour of my town, but let's get back to Soka. It's located 30 kilometers almost straight north from Tokyo, along the Tobu SkyTree train line. Only 50 years ago, it was an agricultural area with a population around 35,000 - it's almost 10 times as dense now! The rapid growth wiped all the greenery away, but there are a couple places to go in the area.
 Following the main street east from Soka or Matsubaradanchi Stations will bring you to the river. There's a nice path that follows the waterway, though the view isn't great.
 Follow the bridge over the road to keep running, walking, or cycling! The bridge might be the nicest thing in the area, unfortunately.
A small pedestrian bridge nearby leads to a large green space, however, which is also great for walking. Exercise equipment (pull-up bars, sit-up benches, etc) lines the path around the field, where I saw kids playing catch and kicking a soccer ball around.

Soka has a nice university and a public library with English-language books. There's a Chinese restaurant on the west side of Soka Station (though I couldn't tell you exactly where) that I have to find again, because it's pretty tasty! And I'm sure there's more to offer as well. But really, once you get outside of Tokyo, bedroom communities rule the roost and there really isn't much for tourists to see.

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