Explore Kawagoe: The Historic “Little Edo” of Japan


History of Kawagoe

Kawagoe, known as “Little Edo,” is a city in Saitama Prefecture that retains the charm of the Edo period. Its history dates back to the Heian period, and it flourished as a commercial hub during the Edo period. Kawagoe Castle was developed as a strategic point in northern Kanto under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Due to this historical background, Kawagoe still preserves many historical buildings and cultural assets.

Kurazukuri Street

The heart of Kawagoe features “Kurazukuri Street,” lined with Edo-period merchant houses and warehouses. This area is particularly popular among foreign tourists, offering a timeless atmosphere. Along the stone-paved streets, you can find black-plastered kurazukuri buildings, which house shops and cafes selling traditional crafts and local specialties. The “Toki no Kane,” a 16-meter-high bell tower, has been a symbol of Kawagoe since the Edo period, still marking the passage of time.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, founded about 1,500 years ago, is a historic shrine known for its deity of matchmaking. It attracts many couples and tourists. The shrine grounds are filled with beautiful trees and ponds, offering picturesque views throughout the seasons. The summer Wind Chime Festival, where colorful wind chimes adorn the grounds, is a particularly popular event, drawing numerous visitors.

Access to Kawagoe

Kawagoe is an ideal destination for a day trip from Tokyo, accessible in about 30 minutes by train from Ikebukuro Station. Convenient transportation options include the Tobu Tojo Line and the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Within Kawagoe, sightseeing buses and rental bicycles make it easy to visit various attractions efficiently.


Kawagoe is an enchanting destination where visitors can experience rich history and culture. With highlights like Kurazukuri Street and Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, it offers an unforgettable journey for foreign tourists. Visit Kawagoe to experience the unique blend of tradition and modernity that characterizes this charming city.


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