For a little different experience I can really recommend spending a couple of hours picking fruits in this fruit farm. This farm is mainly a mandarin farm, located in Tokigawa. I think you can find many of these fruit farms, mandarin and other fruits, scattered around the area.
This is a great activity on a sunny day, especially for families with children. The trees were dangling with sweet mandarins and it is really enjoyable to walk around and eat mandarins while breathing fresh air and watch the beautiful scenery.
For a reasonable fee, you get to fill a little plastic bag with fruit, and of course eat as much as your heart desires while you're there.
They also have some interesting fruits there, like "jumbo yuzu".
More info can be found on the link below (Japanese only):
Saiboku ham is an award winning maker of sausages. This place has a fairly big "German style" restaurant and some shops where they sell meat and locally produced vegetables. I believe they also have some animal related activities for families with children.
The Koma shrine dates back to when the Koreans who migrated to Japan around 1300 years ago. The Shouden temple is close to the shrine and located on a hill top. The location of the Shouden temple is just amazing, surrounded with a beautiful pond and garden.
More info can be found on these links (Japanese only):
Saiboku ham: http://www.saiboku.co.jp/
Koma shrine: http://www.komajinja.or.jp/
Shouden temple: http://www.bell.jp/pancho/travel/saitama/shodenin.htm
Located just a short walk from Kawagoe station, you can visit this historic Japanese area with lots of old building and old style shops.
My favorite place was definitely a narrow little lane called Penny Candy Lane (Kashiya Yokosho). Here you'll find small little snack shops selling various traditional Japanese snacks. A lot of shops sold a snack I haven't seen before. It is a long wheat stick called "fugashi", around 1 meter long, and covered in brown sugar.
Not many tourists seems to come here, so it really has an authentic feeling to it.
Besides this pretty little lane, this area has a lot of Japanese buildings from the Edo period, including a bell tower.
Also worth a visit is the Kawagoe festival museum where you can see videos and floats used for the Kawagoe festival. This festival is held the 3rd weekend in October.
Kawagoe is just a 30 minutes train ride from Ikebukuro station so it is really easy to travel there.
They have a very good English website with information.
This is probably the main attraction in Nagatoro and a highly recommended one. It's a great way to enjoy the scenic landscape along the river. This is nothing extreme but more like a Sunday cruise suitable for any person at any age.
Although the "boat men" probably don't speak much English, they are very friendly and warn you before big splashes are coming ahead.
You may also want to visit the museum of natural history which is situated along the river. I went there in November and they had a lovely light up of the autumn leaves just outside the museum which attracted a lot of people.
You can find prices and directions on their official website below (Japanese only)
The park is the ruins of the Hachigata Castle, which was built around 1476. I would suggest visiting the museum to get an image of what the site looked like back in the days. At the moment you can see the different levels the castle was built upon to help defend against attackers. This place is really serene and can be enjoyed by anyone. The park is fairly big and It wasn't much people there on the day I went so it felt really relaxing.
You can also dress up as a samurai warrior while strolling around the park. (Requires one week advance booking, 1000 yen per person. Contact Yorii Tourist Agency on 048-581-3012 to make a booking)
Good info about this place can be found on the link below (not the official website)
This little brewery is said to produce one of the best sakes in the region. We were told that the secret to the delightful taste lies within the sweetness of the water in the region. They had a guided tour in the brewery and they showed us how depending on how much the rice grains are polishes, the better sake you can make. And by the end of the tour there was of course some tasting of their sake.
Official website below (japanese only)
Around 35-40 minutes from central Tokyo by train is the Tobu Zoo. As it's not in a built up area at all, there's plenty of space, and there are plenty of grassed areas to have a picnic etc.
There's also an amusement park within the grounds if that's your thing, although none of the rides looked especially interesting.
The grounds cost 1500 yen for adults to get into, which is a fair bit more expensive than Ueno zoo in Tokyo, although there is a lot more space.
22 Shintomicho I Chome
310 Hiraranishizato, Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, 906-0012, Japan
Good for: Families
3248 Sayada, Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, 360-0023, Japan
Good for: Couples