Old Town Kawagoe

Long time no blog post! I got a cold last week, and I’m still hanging in there on the job, so I haven’t had a ton of energy. But today I’m back at it with a little something about Japan! You know, the usual.

Kawagoe

Old town Kawagoe.

Kawagoe is a satellite of Tokyo that stands on its own pretty well. Its nickname is Koedo (小江戸/Little Edo), after the old name for Tokyo, and it’s locally famous for having preserved a few streets from the Edo Period (1603-1868), along with a historic bell tower and the ruins of Kawagoe Castle.

If you’re going to be in Tokyo for more than a few days, I actually do recommend spending an afternoon in Kawagoe. It isn’t far and, if you’re interested in a nostalgic trip into the not-so-distant past and like sweet potato, the Candy Street (菓子屋横丁/Kashiya Yokochou) alone is worth the trip. Kawagoe is famous for sweet potato, so on the Candy Street you can find everything from sweet potato ice cream to sweet potato candy to sweet potato beer. And it’s all tastier than my western readers might think!

I admit, I look at Kawagoe through the lens of personal nostalgia (it’s my Japanese hometown), but I genuinely think it’s a great city to visit. A little quirky, a little historical, and very unique.

Access: From Ikebukuro Station, hop on the Tobu-Tojo Line going to Kawagoe-Shi, Shinrin Koen, or Ogawamachi (same train, different terminal stations). A semi-express will get you to Kawagoe Station in about 30 minutes.

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