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Updated:September 24, 2014

Yamashiro Local Information

Seika Town

  My name is Steven, and I come from Providence, Rhode Island in the United States. I have been working for the Town of Seika for two years now. Seika is a comfortable suburb that is technically located in Kyoto Prefecture, but is actually closer to Nara. The town’s proximity to these two ancient capitals, as well as the metropolis of Osaka, has played a big role in its rapid development over the past several decades.

  One of the reasons I enjoy living in Seika is that it not only provides easy access to other cities, but has plentykeihanna-plaza of interesting sights within its own borders as well. Perhaps the most well-known attraction in Seika is the Kansai Science City, a collection of research facilities. The Science City, along with the Kansai branch of Japan’s National Diet Library, gives the town a very distinct feel. Walking along Seika-odori, the main street that runs through the Science City, almost reminds me of being back in America. I like to compare it to the Silicon Valley in California, the area famous for such major technological companies as Google, Apple, and Yahoo. One of the most well-known facilities in the Science City is Keihanna Plaza, a large complex housing restaurants, research laboratories, a hotel, and more. In front of the building is a large sundial, which shoots a laser into the sky at night.keihanta-science-city

national-diet-library

  Like many other small towns in Japan, Seika also has a thriving agriculture sector. Particularly famous are Seika’s strawberries, which are in season during spring. Every year, many visitors come to Seika’s farms to pick and eat delicious strawberries. For those who would like to try Seika strawberries for themselves, I recommend going to Kawanishi Strawberry Gardens or Hanayagi Farm. These places are also not too far from the Kizu River, which runs east of Seika. Along the river is a wonderful bicycle path which leads all the way up to Kyoto city. It takes about three hours to go all the way up the path from Seika. The path is great not only for lovers of the outdoors, but also people who simply like to go for a jog or a walk.keihanna-commemorative-park

Speaking of outdoors, one place not to miss is Keihanna Commemorative Park, located near the Science City. This park is a great place to see plum blossoms in the winter, cherry blossoms in the spring, fireflies in the summer, and colorful leaves in the fall. In addition to having plenty of wide-open space, the park also boasts a lovely Japanese-style garden called the Suikeien. There are many events held in the park, ranging from cultural lessons to crafts for kids. It’s also the location of the Seika’s annual festival, which draws tens of thousands of visitors every year and features musical performances, food, interesting workshops, and more. Given the park’s natural beauty and wide range of events, it is safe to say that it has something for everyone.

As Seika is only a 30-minute train ride from Kyoto and even less from Nara, I hope that visitors to these tourist hotspots stop by. With its relaxing small-town feel and its impressive juxtaposition of traditional agriculture and cutting-edge innovation, Seika is a unique place. Be sure to come – I’m sure you’ll understand why I love living here so much!

 

Helpful Links:

Keihanna Plaza (English): http://www.keihanna-plaza.co.jp/english/( External link )

Kawanishi Strawberry Gardens (Japanese): http://www16.atpages.jp/kawanisiichigoen/( External link )

Hanayagi Farm (Japanese): http://www16.atpages.jp/kawanisiichigoen/( External link )

Keihanna Commemorative Park (Japanese): http://www.keihanna-park.jp/( External link )

*English-language brochure available for Suikeien