Do you want to be transported to the Edo period? Then Kawagoe (川越) is the perfect day trip for you! Just a 30-minute train ride will take you away from the neon lights of Tokyo and back to traditional Edo Japan.
There is not just one highlight to this town, but hundreds of little jewels that are just waiting to be found. Scattered with beautiful well-reserved buildings, family-owned stores and landmarks, the town oozes with authentic Japanese culture.
You can stroll down the souvenir streets until your heart’s content – but don’t forget to check out ‘Candy Alley’. A Street just for Japanese sweets and treats – and most for less than 350 Yen. You will find all sorts of interesting things to try here, but most famous in Kawagoe are the Sweet Potato creations. This includes Sweet Potato sweets, Takiyaki and most importantly, ice cream.
If there wasn’t enough to love about this place already, you can make the Edo experience that little bit better by renting out a Kimono and really fitting into your surroundings. I’d recommend kimono rentals from ‘Vivian’. At only 3,000 Yen, they will dress you in a kimono, do your hair and add all of the accessories – much cheaper than other tourist areas.
How to get to Kawagoe from Tokyo
From Ikebukuro. 30 mins via Tobu Tojo Line’s Rapid Express (東武東上線 急行).
From Shinjuku. 55 mins via JR Saikyo / JR Kawagoe Line (JR 埼京線・川越線).