Visit the Edo and Taisho eras in this town of historic treasures
The Kawagoe Warehouse District, also known as Koedo Kawagoe or “Little Edo,” is a place where you can step back in time and experience the rich history and culture of Edo-era japan. This district is famous for its preservation of traditional buildings and its charming old town atmosphere. If you are interested in history, architecture, and traditional Japanese culture, a visit to Kawagoe is a must.
How to Get There
Kawagoe is easily accessible by rail, and there are several options for getting there. One convenient option is to take the express train from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo. The journey takes about 30 minutes, and the train will take you directly to Kawagoe Station or Kawagoeshi Station on the Tobu Tojo Line. Another option is to take the Seibu Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku Station to Hon-Kawagoe Station, which takes about 55 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the JR Saikyo/Kawagoe Line from Shinjuku Station to Kawagoe Station, also taking about 55 minutes.
To make your journey even more convenient, Tobu sells the Kawagoe Discount Pass for foreign tourists. This pass allows unlimited rides between the three stations in Kawagoe and on Tobu buses within the city. It also offers discounts at select facilities. So, be sure to take advantage of this pass to make the most of your visit to Kawagoe.
The Old Town District
Once you arrive in Kawagoe, you will be transported back in time as you explore the old town district. For a few hundred meters on Kawagoe’s Kurazukuri Street, you will find rows of old clay warehouses and merchant homes, known as kurazukuri. These buildings have been preserved for centuries and give the distinct impression that you have stepped into the Edo era. The wooden structures and clay walls are a stark contrast to the modern architecture of today.
As you walk along the street, you will notice that most of the warehouses have been transformed into shops and restaurants. Despite the modern-day uses, the interiors still maintain the old Japan feeling, with traditional decorations and furnishings. One of the main landmarks of the warehouse district is the bell tower, which chimes four times a day, symbolizing the town’s history and culture.
Another highlight of the district is Candy Alley, a narrow street lined with 20 quaint old shops selling traditional Japanese candy. This is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in some delicious treats. The alley is filled with the nostalgic aroma of freshly made sweets and the sound of cheerful conversations between shopkeepers and customers.
The Kawagoe Festival
If you visit Kawagoe in October, you will have the opportunity to witness the famous Kawagoe Festival. This annual festival is one of the biggest events in the town and attracts thousands of visitors from all over Japan. During the festival, floats adorned with beautiful decorations march down Kurazukuri Street, accompanied by traditional music and dance performances. The festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kawagoe and is a sight not to be missed.
To give you a better understanding of what to expect when visiting Kawagoe, here are some quick facts about the town:
– Kawagoe is known for its old clay warehouses and merchant homes, which are called kurazukuri.
– The main street of Kawagoe still sells traditional Meiji-era Japanese confectionery and sweets, allowing visitors to experience the taste of the past.
– Due to its picturesque scenery and historical significance, Kawagoe has been featured in several popular domestic TV shows, making it a popular destination for Japanese tourists.
Kawagoe is a town that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and charm. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of traditional Japanese towns, Kawagoe has something to offer. So, make sure to add this gem to your travel itinerary and embark on a journey through time in the Edo and Taisho eras.
Address And Maps Location:
7-9 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken