Kawagoe is a great place for a day trip from Tokyo since it is only 30 minutes away from central Tokyo. The city is known as ‘Little Edo’. Upon arrival in the main street of Kawagoe you will be able to understand this name. It feels like you will travel back into the Edo Period of Japan. Kawagoe has many touristic spots to keep you busy for a full day.
For travelling to Kawagoe, it is recommended to have some sort of map with you. In the touristic areas you will find maps of ‘Little Edo’.  All touristic spots in the area are visible on this map. Some of these spots are quite far from each other, so having a map is recommended for exploring Kawagoe.

Kita-in Temple

Kita-in Temple is one of the main tourist places in Kawagoe. It is a Buddhist temple and famous for its main hall, which was part of the original Edo Castle. You are able to walk around the main hall and the area of the temple. Inside the main hall you might be able to see some people praying. It is possible to do some fortune telling for yourself as well, for around ¥100 for every fortune. To go in the main hall, you will have to buy a ticket. You will be able to buy this ticket in the main hall.

Another special thing about Kita-in is the statues. There are 540 statues of Rakan, who are the disciples of the Buddha. The statues are known as the ‘500 Rakan’ and sometimes as the ‘540 Rakan’. This is because there were supposed to be 500, but when you actually count the statues, there are 540 of them. You need to buy a ticket to see the statues. This ticket is available in the main hall and costs ¥400.

The easiest way to get to Kita-in Temple is to get off at Hon-Kawagoe Station. From here it is a 10-15-minute walk to Kita-in Temple. From this station it is one street you will have to walk in, and you will be able to find the Kita-in Temple on your left side.

Opening times 8:50 – 16:30

 

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Kawagoe 🇯🇵

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Warehouse District

The Warehouse District, also known as ‘Kurazukuri no Machinami’ or ‘Kurazukuri Street’ can be seen as the main attraction of Kawagoe. While walking here, you will understand why the place has the nickname ‘Little Edo’. The buildings are clay-walled warehouse-styled buildings, with the architecture style that they used in the Edo-Period. There are many shops and restaurants in this street where you are able to buy souvenirs and try out some Japanese food. Kawagoe has many eel shops, but it is best known for its sweet potato. Because of this, it also has the nickname ‘City of Sweet Potatoes’.

In one of the side streets you will be able to find the Bell Tower, also known as Toki no Kane, which is a symbol of Kawagoe. The tower chimes four times on a daily base, at 6:00, 12:00, 15:00 and 18:00. You are not able to go inside the tower, but you will be able to walk below it. You will find a small shrine where you will be able to pray. There is no admission fee to walk under the Bell Tower or to enter the Warehouse District, so you won’t have to line up for tickets anywhere.

The best way to get to the Warehouse District is to either get off at Hon-Kawagoe Station or Kawagoe-Shi Station, since these are the closest stations to the Warehouse District. From both these stations it is still a 15-20-minute walk to the Warehouse District. From both stations some busses to the Warehouse District are available as well, but timewise, this won’t make a big difference with walking.
The street is open at all times, the stores have different opening and closing times, but most are open from 10:00 – 17:00.

Candy Alley

Candy Alley is a small shopping street close to the Warehouse District. It is a street full of candy stores, explaining the name of the street. The stores sell a variety of traditional Japanese candy and cakes, such as rice crackers, ice cream, cakes with bean paste, etc. It is a perfect place to get some food-related souvenirs from Japan or to try out Japanese candy yourself. The opening times of the stores depend on the store itself. Most stores are open between 10:00 and 17:00. On Mondays and Wednesdays most of the stores are closed, even on these days it is still worth going, since most stores sell similar things.
Candy Alley is best to be combined with the Warehouse District. This whole area is the most touristic place in Kawagoe, but Candy Alley is more like a side road from the Warehouse District than a place on its own. Candy Alley does not require an entrance fee, so it is free to visit.

The easiest way to get to Candy Alley is from Kawagoe-Shi Station or Hon-Kawagoe Station, these stations are the closest to Candy Alley. From both these stations it is still a 15-20-minute walk to Candy Alley. From both stations some busses to Candy Alley are available as well, but timewise, this won’t make a big difference with walking.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

If you plan on going to the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, which is also known as the ‘Shrine of marriage’, you will not be able to miss the entrance. The entrance is a 15 meters high orange gate. Similar to most shrines and temples in Japan, you are able to purify your hands and mouth with some water before entering. The shrine is full of different types of fortune telling and improving your luck. Also, some ‘matchmaking charms’ are available. Besides that, it is also a great place for taking pictures, and you might catch some people in kimono’s trying to get the best pictures at this shrine. There is no entrance fee to the shrine you can just enter by walking through the gate, but some of the fortune telling and praying can be done by paying some money. Usually this is a small amount of ¥100.

You are able to get to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine by getting off at Hon-Kawagoe Station, from here it is a 20-25-minute walk to the shrine. It is also possible to take a bus from this station, there are multiple busses available and depending on which one you take it will take 10-15 minutes to get to the shrine.
The area of the shrine is open 24 hours per day, but the‘working hours’ of the shrine are from 9:00 – 17:00.

 

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本日ご紹介するおすすめの旅先は、「縁結び風鈴」などで有名な「川越氷川神社」です。 創建1500年を越えると言われている「川越氷川神社」には2組の夫婦を含め、5人の神様が祀られているため、「家族円満」「夫婦円満」「縁結び」の効果が絶大と言われています。そんな川越氷川神社では、夏になると、「縁結び風鈴」などのイベントが開かれます。今年は、「風鈴回廊」や「光る川」などが特に人気で、日本全国や海外からも多くの観光客が毎日訪れています。 「風鈴回廊」では2000個を超える風鈴のトンネルが作り上げられています。風鈴のトンネルによる幻想的な雰囲気に涼しな風鈴の音色が響きわたることで、どこか切なく儚げな世界に迷い込んだ錯覚に陥ります。また、夜になると風鈴回廊がライトアップされることで、その神秘的な雰囲気に拍車がかかります。 加えて、夜になると境内にある川の底が光り始め、美しく幻想的に輝く「光る川」が出現します。これは、「入間川の川底が毎晩光り始め、不思議に思った人々がその光を辿って着いた先が、現在氷川神社がある場所にあたる。お告げによると、その光は氷川に神様の霊光であり、そのためこの氷川神社が建てられた。」という古くから川越氷川神社に伝わる伝説が基になっているそうです 川越氷川神社は「小江戸・川越」にふさわしい、情緒溢れる観光スポットとなっています。夏は浴衣で観光する方も多く、写真映えは間違いなしです。 御朱印や、縁結びのお守り、ぼんぼりなど、川越氷川神社にはここでは語りきりれない多くの魅力が詰まっていますので別途またご紹介します。 ぜひ、そんな魅力あふれる小江戸川越の「川越氷川神社」に一度、足を運んでみてはいかがでしょうか? ======== 🌎日本 📍川越氷川神社 ======= 📸Source: Travel Tips 編集部

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Honmaru Goten

Honmaru Goten means ‘The place in the inner-most circle of defense’. It is the only building that has survived of the former Kawagoe Castle. You are able to go inside the Honmaru Goten for ¥100. You will have to pay this upon entering the building, there are some combination tickets available. With these combination tickets you can enter museums in the surrounding area as well. Inside the building you will be able to see some traditional Japanese architecture with painted walls.
The Honmaru Goten is closed on Mondays and every fourth Friday of the month.

The closest station to Honmaru Goten is Hon-Kawagoe Station. From this station to Hon-Kawagoe it is a 20-25-minute walk. It is also possible to take a bus from Hon-Kawagoe Station to Honmaru Goten. Most bus lines won’t have English names, so this might be a bit harder to figure out. Taking the bus also doesn’t really save time since this is still a 20-minute ride.
Opening Times: 9:00 – 17:00 (Last admission 16:30)

 

How to get to Kawagoe from Tokyo:

There are three stations recommended to get off when traveling to Kawagoe. These recommended stations are ‘Kawagoe Station’, ‘Kawagoe-Shi Station’ and ‘Hon-Kawagoe Station’. From Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo, you will be able to take the Tobu-Toju Line. This line will go to Kawagoe Station and to Kawagoe-Shi Station. It takes about 30 minutes from Ikebukuro to one of these stations. To go to Hon-Kawagoe Station you will either have to transfer lines or walk for 5-10 minutes from Kawagoe Station or Kawagoe-Shi Station.