Saitama Prefecture forms a sort of buffer zone between the grey sprawl of Tokyo and the mountains of Gunma prefecture.
Situated on the south-east of the prefecture is the capital Saitama City with 10 Wards and the population of 1.2 million.
Saitama is the only prefectural capital in Japan whose name is always written in hiragana "さいたま", and belongs to the list of hiragana cities.
Home to various manufacturers, exporting automotive, food, optical, precision and pharmaceutical products Saitama is one of many commercial centers of the Greater Tokyo area.
With Omiya Station which is part of the Shinkansen high-speed train network, the city is a regional transportation hub for both passengers and freight train lines.
With good transport links to Tokyo, the eastern half of the prefecture operates largely as residential and commercial suburbs of Tokyo, while its western parts are mostly rural and mountainous and include parts of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.
Saitama has a wealth of unique and worthwhile destinations. It houses one of Japan's only remaining "Little Tokyo"s in Kawagoe, the Bonsai Capital of the World in Saitama City's Bonsai Village, and a complete 34 temple pilgrimage all within the historic town of Chichibu, making it the most doable of the country's major pilgrimage routes for short-term visitors to Japan.