Visiting the Glico Pia East Factory

Make your own Pocky on one of Saitama's best tours

By Lynda Hogan    - 3 min read

The Glico Pia East Factory tour was on my wish list since it opened its doors in Kitamoto City in 2012. However, at the time I was advised to wait until my kids were older to go. In 2015, I just couldn’t wait any longer so I booked it for the whole family. At the time my children were five, four, two and a baby! Much to my delight, everyone, myself included, enjoyed the tour much more than we thought we would. In fact we loved it so much we have been several times since!

Glico is the name of a large manufacturing company headquartered in Osaka, Japan. One of Osaka's most iconic billboards is of the "running man" logo of the company. Glico makes many things including baby formula and ice cream, but this factory tour is of their most famous and beloved confectionary products: Pocky and Pretz. Pocky and Pretz are both stick shaped snacks, but Pocky are dipped in chocolate and Pretz are not. So loved they are that there is even a Pocky and Pretz Day on November 11th each year in Japan!

The tour at the factory in Kitamoto City, Saitama, is 70 minutes long. It includes a brief video, the museum 'zone', a tour of the Pocky and Pretz production lines and an interactive quiz game in a futuristic gaming room. In fact, the whole tour building has a futuristic feel. At the start of the tour they offer you a chance to sign up for a workshop at the end of the tour where you can decorate your own giant Pocky. It costs 500 yen per person if you choose to participate in the workshop. Whether you participate in the workshop or not, everyone gets to take home a free bag of goodies. Each time the contents have been a little different, but there is always a free box of Pocky and Pretz in the goodie bag. At the factory gate there is a souvenir shop where you can buy even more Glico goodies including rare flavors and / or giant sized Pocky.

The tour (without the workshop) is free, but it needs to be booked in advance. However, the tour is temporarily closed to the general public due to the pandemic. On the day the tour is conducted in Japanese. The first few times we visited there was no English language support, but on our last visit they had added a basic English language brochure and some English language signage in the factory.

Booking the tour

Booking form for the Glico Pia East factory tour.
Booking form for the Glico Pia East factory tour.

The tour can be booked through the website. It is all in Japanese, but it is manageable even if you don't read Japanese. Several readers of my personal blog were able to book the tour from overseas without any Japanese language ability. I have included a screenshot of the booking form for when reservations reopen. Once you click on the button circled in yellow it opens a form to choose your date and record your personal details. The tour times are 9.30, 11.00, 12.30, 14.00 six days a week, closed on Fridays.

Getting there

By public transport you can take a 12 minute bus ride bound for Glico Pia East from Kitamoto Station on the JR Takasaki line.

By car, the factory is less than an hour from Tokyo and is very accessible from other prefectures in Kanto too. The factory is just two kilometers from the Okegawa-Kano exit of the Ken-O expressway.

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Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog for 14 of them.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.  Be sure to stop by my website where you will find 600 things to do in Saitama and 400 active events! 

Join the discussion

Justin Velgus 3 weeks ago
I had no idea this place existed. Everyone knows the Glico sign and the famous snacks, so this would be a memorable visit for sure!
Lynda Hogan Author 3 weeks ago
And you can pick up some rare Pocky and / or Glico souvenirs in the shop ... or just walk away with the freebies they give you without spending a yenny!
Kim 3 weeks ago
How fun! Always impressed by how much stuff there is to do in Saitama!
Lynda Hogan Author 3 weeks ago
Thee most underrated prefecture in Japan!! :-)
Elizabeth S 3 weeks ago
Ah, the Pocky source! I want to visit!

Two years ago, I visited Glicopia Chiba which is all about ice cream production. The factory is gorgeous, spotless, and the tour is fun.
Lynda Hogan Author 3 weeks ago
I like the sound of the ice-cream factory tour. The free factory tours here are pretty amazing in my experience.
Sherilyn Siy 3 weeks ago
Would love to do this with my family. Hope they open up again soon!
Lynda Hogan Author 3 weeks ago
Its one of our favorites, I hope you get the chance to experience it soon. We are so lucky to have so many free chocolate factory tours in Saitama.