Kawagoe (川越) is a Japanese city northwest of Tokyo. It is approximately 30minutes train ride from Central Tokyo. My Japanese friend recommended us to drop by here for a day trip destination so we headed over after our lunch.
History of Kawagoe (川越)
Kawagoe is a Japanese city northwest of Tokyo. An Edo-period castle town, it’s known for its old clay warehouses and merchant homes, called Kurazukuri. Traditional Japanese sweet shops line Meiji-era Candy Alley. Kita-in, a major Buddhist temple features reminiscent of the former Edo Castle. On the temple grounds are the Gohyaku Rakan group of more than 500 stone statues of Buddha’s disciples.
*Info from Google*
Kawagoe also known as “Little Edo” retains much of its charm of the Edo period. Old warehouses, temples and ruins of castles still remain today. We took a nice walk along the streets and look around the surroundings.
How To Get To Kawagoe
You can take train ride from Ikebukuro station in Tokyo on the Tobu Railway line. You can use google map or hyperdia to check on the timing schedules and fares as well.
There is bus option if you wish to reduce the amount of walking. You can opt for the unlimited Kawagoe Co-Edo Loop bus ticket. It can be purchased at a discount as part of the Kawagoe premium pass. However, if you do not have the premium pass, you can either pay cash or make payment using IC Card (SUICA or PASMO). We opt for walking and slowing walk back to the train station.
Things To Do In Kawagoe
1. Walk Along The Streets of the Old Town (Kura no Machi)
No research at all and we just decided to take our time to walk along the streets of the Old Town (Kura no Machi). The retails/ restaurants are refurbished from the clay clad warehouse structures. You can feel the old town atmosphere when you walk around the area.
2. Toki no Kane
Take note on your surrounding and find the bell tower. It is the symbol of Kawagoe. It has rung out across the town announcing the time since early in the Edo period although the current tower was rebuilt immediately after the Great Fire in 1984. It is said to still sounds 4 times a day.
3. Kumano Shrine
Take a tour to Kumano Shrine, which is located near Renjakucho Crossing. It is known for the “Torino-ichi” (market where “kumade” good luck charms for business are sold), which is held on 3 December every year.
And spot the “Ashibumi Kenkou Road (Healthy Stepping Road)” , which is to promote the health of people. It is a pathway with many pebbles embedded and it is beneficial to health by stimulating the soles of one’s feet to improve blood circulation. It was quite challenging. I kid you not!
4. Ohana Grill Kawagoe
We randomly found this restaurant while walking towards the old street. The restaurant only offers limited items but their tamago sandwich photo was tempting so we decided to try. Initially, we wanted to take away but the service staff said take away is not allowed.
We ordered the tamago sandwich and it was sooo good that we ordered one tamago /egg roll as well. The tamago is so refined and juicy and almost like egg custard. It has the delicate sweetness that we craved for more. If you are visiting Kawagoe, be sure to visit this place to try their food.
That’s what we did for 2-3 hours walk around Kawagoe. There are retails selling souvenirs along the way if you wish to get something for your loved ones. We did not get any of it and headed back to the station and back to Tokyo.
Read about my Japan Travelogue posts here