The city of KAWAGOE

The city of Kawagoe Excursion

Kawagoe is also known as Koedo. Edo is the old name for Tokyo, and Ko means ‘small’, so it is a small Edo. The old streets of the Edo period have been preserved here. It takes less than an hour by train from central Tokyo, making it ideal for a small trip from Tokyo. I’ll also introduce some must-see sights and must-try food. Some shops rent out kimonos, and it is common to see people walking around in kimonos. Anyway, Kawagoe is the perfect town for a short trip from Tokyo.

How to get there

JR Kawagoe Station, Tobu Tojo Line Kawagoe Station, Kawagoe-shi Station

Seibu Shinjuku Line Honkawagoe Station

Accessible from any of these. The closest stations to the Koedo area are Kawagoe-shi Station and Hon-Kawagoe Station. Buses are available from Kawagoe Station, but it takes about 20 minutes to reach the area even if you walk slowly through the shopping streets.

If you have Japan Rail  Pass/ JR EAST pass/ Tokyo Wide Pass, I recommend the Saikyo Line, which runs directly from Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro to Kawagoe.


You can visit Kawagoe in the time you have – only two hours? Have a whole day? You can enjoy yourself either way.

Places to see

Toki no Kane

The Toki no Kane (Bell of Time) was built about 400 years ago as a bell to tell the time, which is indispensable for people’s daily lives. The bell is still rung four times a day as a symbol of Koedo Kawagoe. Located in the center of the old town, it is a good place to take a picture while strolling around.

Toki no Kane

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

This shrine has a very long history and was built around the 6th century. The shrine grounds are lush with greenery and trees, including a 500-year-old zelkova tree. Since the shrine enshrines the gods of husband and wife and family, it is believed to be the “god of match-making”. Various Shinto rituals are held throughout the year in accordance with the four seasons.

Kita-in Temple

In addition to buildings associated with Edo Castle, the temple has many cultural assets, including the gate, bell tower gate, and Jigen-do Hall, which are designated as important cultural properties. The temple is deeply associated with the Tokugawa family, which retains a strong scent of the Edo period. The temple is also worth a visit for its Five Hundred Arhats, a group of 540 stone Buddhas with various facial expressions that capture the joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure of human beings.

Kashiya Yokocho

Kashiya Yokocho is a famous spot in Kawagoe where about 30 confectioners and other shops are crammed together. Lined with confectionery shops that bring the simple, old-fashioned taste of the past back to the present, everyone who steps into one of them feels like a child again. Even if you don’t know much about Japanese candy, you will feel nostalgic and excited by this place.

Koedo Kurari

A renovated Meiji-era sake brewery. In addition to a souvenir shop with all the souvenirs of Kawagoe, there is a corner with sake from all the breweries in Saitama Prefecture and a restaurant. You can also see the floats actually used in the Kawagoe Festival.

Starbucks Coffee Kanetsuki-dori Street

This Starbucks, which blends in with the local area, blends in well with the warehouse-styled streetscape. The interior also has a Japanese feel. Why not stop by for a break during a stroll or just to take a photo of the exterior?

City of eating and walking

Around Toki no Kane, there are many things for sale that you can eat and walk around. Let’s try some of the things that interest you. I particularly recommend the snacks made from sweet potatoes. Kawagoe is a sweet potato growing area and many shops offer snacks and sweets made from sweet potatoes.

Kawagoe and me

Kawagoe is close to where I live now and is one of the places I visit frequently. Although it is a place that I can visit on a daily basis, it also has a strong tourist aspect, which gives me a strange feeling even though I have been there many times. It is a town with many options: while doing my daily shopping, I can drop in at a shrine here today, or go to a sweet shop over there. Being a little further away from Tokyo, it is also a little less crowded. I avoid the area around Toki no Kane, which is the main tourist area on weekends, because it is crowded. I am establishing my own way of enjoying this city.