Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture is known as “the Little Edo”. (The Edo period: 1603-1868)
Atmosphere of the Edo period remains in this city. Visitors can feel its atmosphere by walking through the city.
Kawagoe is easily accessible from Tokyo. It takes approx. 35min. to get to Kawagoe Station from Ikebukuro Station.
As shown in the map below, there are three stations, Kawagoe St.(JR line/Tobu-Tojo line), Kawagoeshi St.(Tobu-Tojo line) and Honkawagoe St (Seibu-Shinjuku line).
Using Tobu-Tojo line and getting off at the Kawagoe St. would be a cheaper choice. Since it depends on from which station you departs, it would be better to compare a route with other lines in terms of costs.
THINGS TO DO IN KAWAGOE
Don’t miss the Bell Tower (Toki no Kane)
The Bell Tower stands as a symbol of Kawagoe. It is a must-visit place in Kawagoe.
It is said that the bell tower was built about 400 years ago and it has been rebuilt after fire a couple of times. The current one was re-built in 1893. The tower still tells time at 6 AM, noon, 3PM, 6PM. Please arrange your time to hear the sound.
Another must-visit place, Kita-in Temple
The temple is a historic site designated as an Important Cultural Property. Its history goes back to 1600’s which is well explained in the website below;
Japanese Unaju (Grilled eel on rice)
I’m not sure if you like this kind of Japanese cuisine or not, but let me recommend trying Unaju which means ‘grilled eel on rice’. There are many eel restaurants in Kawagoe. You will see people who queue in front of eel restaurants there.
Grilled eels are now actually very expensive due to decrease of the number of fry and its difficulty in farming. The price level is now about 2,000-5,000 yen!
In Japane, it is said that it’s good to eat Unagi (eel) in hot weather to restore energy. I sometimes eat it even if it is much expensive than other foods.
Please keep in mind that Japanese Sansho pepper goes well with Unaju!
The Taisho-roman Street is located between the Kawagoe Station and the Little Edo area. You can see Taisho-style buildings along the street (Taisho Period is from 1912 to 1926).
Let’s walk through it either going to the Little Edo area or returning to Kawagoe station.
In the above photos, Koinobori (carp-shaped streamers) are hanged up between buildings over the street. These are hanged up from April to the beginning of May every year to celebrate Children’s day, 5th-May, in Japan, hoping that boys in family will grow up healthy and succeed in life. It is said that it stems from a legend that a carp swam upstream to became a dragon.
I’ll visit this city again because I could not complete places where I planed to see on the day. I will add another post about Kawagoe after the next trip.
1. Get off at the Kawagoe Station
2. Take a walk to the Taisho-roman Street
3. Walk through the little Edo area (around the Bell Tower: Toki no Kane)
4. Visit the Bell Tower
5. Visit the Kita-in Temple