The town of Kawagoe has been called "Little Edo" for ages. It has been called so because it is reminiscent of the Edo era. Kawagoe still has the nostalgic atmosphere of Edo. Enjoy a fulfilling one-day trip by starting your walk through this town that has preserved Japanese culture in the famous Kurazukuri Street filled with storehouse-type structures.
Tokyo -- <JR Yamanote Line 25 mins.> -- Ikebukuro -- <Seibu Ikebukuro Line 25 mins.> -- Tokorozawa -- <Seibu Shinjuku Line 22 mins.> -- Hon-Kawagoe -- <walking through the streets> -- [the Kurazukuri Street] -- [Toki-no-Kane Bell Tower] -- ["Kurazukuri" Museum] -- [Kawagoe Festival Museum] -- [Kashiya Yokocho Alley] -- [Honmaru Goten] -- [Kita-in Temple] -- Hon-Kawagoe -- <Seibu Shinjuku Line 22 mins.> -- Tokorozawa -- <Seibu Ikebukuro Line 25 mins.> -- Ikebukuro -- <JR Yamanote Line 25 mins.> -- Tokyo
*The times required with public transportation are approximate.
At the heart of Kawagoe is the Kurazukuri (Storehouse-type architecture) Street. Storehouse-type architecture is of a fire-resistive design that spread throughout the homes of tradesmen in Edo. The scenic townscape lined with over thirty unique storehouse-type tradesmen’s homes practically makes this town a museum in itself.
Toki-no-Kane Bell Tower
The symbol of the Kurazukuri Street. It is a prominent storehouse-type structure that still continues to ring, just as its name suggests, four times a day (at 6 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.).
Kawagoe Kurazukuri Museum
A museum that presents aspects of storehouse-type structures such as their internals and folk tools of tradesmen. Here, visitors can learn about storehouse-like structures.
Kawagoe Festival Museum
A folk museum with exhibits of documents on the “Kawagoe Hikawa Festival (Kawagoe Festival)”, which is one of the three great Kanto festivals. Inside, visitors can see the changes and backgrounds of the rituals along with the preparations for and scenery of the festivals.
Kashiya Yokocho Alley
The Kashiya Yokocho Alley offers a sense of nostalgia with its alleyway atmosphere and aroma of low-priced sweets. The area is lined with over twenty appealing establishments such as shops that preserve traditional methods of candy-making and shops that specialize in “potato sticks” made with local Kawagoe sweet potatoes that are cut, fried, and salted.
The palace of the Kawagoe Castle keep. This is where Kawagoe Castle once stood. The only things that remain are the entrance and the chief retainer’s keep, which has been moved and restored, but it is a popular spot for history buffs because castles with keeps that still remain are rare in Japan.
“Kita-in Temple” is another name for Kawagoe-daishi Temple. Most of the structures here are specified as important cultural properties, with many valuable works of art. The vast grounds are scenic with a pond and moat, and the stone Gohyaku Rakan (five hundred arhats) statues here are famous.