A Spring day trip to Kawagoe
Located just 30-minutes north of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture, you can find Kawagoe – a small town overflowing with historic charm. Alternatively known as ‘Ko-Edo’, meaning little Edo, times seems to have stopped in the Edo Era for this district (1603-1867) – a time of Samurai. Kawagoe has countless heritage buildings, seasonal activities and traditional shops for visitors to enjoy as a day trip from Tokyo.
How do I get there?
Travellers can easily get to Kawagoe on the Tobu Tojo Line in just 30 minutes from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo.
Start the day with Cherry Blossoms
One benefit of travelling to Kawagoe is the overflowing cherry blossoms in late March to early April. Visitors can take a leisurely boat tour down the Shingashi-gawa River that flows through the town to see more than 100 Cherry trees blooming on the banks.
You can also see the delicate pastel pink blossoms blooming abundantly on the grounds of Kita-In Temple which is over 1000 years old. Here you can also see 540 stone statues of Buddha each carved by different artists between 1782 and 1825.
Enjoy a traditional lunch
Lunch is a time you can enjoy another unique aspect of Kawagoe’s history. In the Edo area, sweet potatoes were a snack for common people, and Kawagoe to this day is known for its sweet potato dishes! From roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato noodles, to Sweet Kaiseki course meals and even sweet potato desserts, there are plenty of options to satisfy your needs.
Beer lovers MUST try a beer from one of Kawagoe’s world-renowned and multiple award-winning COEDOBREWERY. They have a variety of beers that have been recognised globally, and even an Imperial Sweet Potato Amber, which is Brewed with roasted Kintoki Sweet Potatoes! This imperial Amber is rich with a smooth body that is perfectly balanced with earthy hop bitterness and a caramel aroma – a perfect drink to refresh you for your afternoon travels!
Wanter the historic streets in a Kimono
After lunch, visit one of Kawagoe’s many Kimono rental stores to finish your day in traditional style. Once changed into a Kimono, you can walk the streets in one of the liveliest parts of town, the ‘Kurazukuri’ Warehouse District. This area is filled with old distinct wooden warehouses, giving you a glimpse of the time Kawagoe was a major transportation and commerce hub. The centrepiece of the Warehouse District is the ‘Toki no Kane’, a bell tower has marked the time with the ringing of bells for centuries.
A sweet afternoon snack
As you walk through this atmospheric part of town, tame your sweet tooth with dessert shop Kashou Umon’s purple sweet potato ice cream topped with a heart-shaped crispy monaka pastry filled with red bean paste. If ice cream isn’t enough, be sure to visit the ‘Kashiya Yokocho’, aka Penny Candy Lane where you can find 22 traditional Japanese candy stores selling nostalgic sweets that also make a wonderful souvenir for you to bring home.
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About Tobu Railway/Group
The Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s largest commuter railway networks which operates in Tokyo as well as in large portions of the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, and Tochigi. It opened in 1899 and was the first railway in the Kanto region to adopt the use of quadruple tracks, and to this day is Kanto’s largest private railway. Tobu Railways is part of the Tobu Group, which is engaged in other transportation sectors such as bus and taxis, they also operate Department stores, hotels, health clubs, golf courses and theme parks, as real-estate. They are the largest investor in the Tokyo Skytree – the tallest structure in Japan, which is the centrepiece of the large commercial development.
For more information, visit:https://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/
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