Kawagoe is a magical small town in Saitama – a city in the northern part of the Tokyo Metropolis. You can get there in 45 mins-1 hour from Shinjuku station.
We’ve lived in Tokyo for 3 years now and never made it to Kawagoe until last month! You might remember our blog post about the Bikan area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture... well Kawagoe has a very similar feeling.
The small Edo town, often called KoEdo (Little Edo) is a very well-preserved Edo village and one of the only places in Tokyo to see these beautiful old buildings. The rest of Tokyo is quite modern due to rebuilding efforts after various earthquakes, fires and bombing during WWII. Kawagoe was luckily spared from most of these disasters. The Edo era buildings were all built in the 1600-1800’s.
In this beautiful town you’ll find a main street with many side streets leading off it. The old wooden buildings have been renovated and contain Japanese homeware and sweet shops, cafes, restaurants and a few bars. Both locals and visitors alike enjoy hanging out in the relaxed and homely atmosphere. You’ll also find many young women dressed up in Kimono or Yukata depending on the season. Kawagoe is a unique place to take photos!
We visited in April when the gorgeous Koinobori (carp streamers) were hung up to celebrate Children’s Day on May 5th.
Some of our favourite places:
- Kita-in Temple
- Toki No Kane – Bell Tower
- Edo-style Starbucks
- Kashiya Yokocho – Candy Alley
- Nippon ChaChaCha – Japanese crafts store
- Goma Fukudou – Sesame seed shop and cafe