Kickin’ It in Kawagoe

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Sweet Potato Ice Cream

When you Google “Day Trips from Tokyo,” let me tell you what you’ll find so you don’t waste time: Nikko, Kamakura, and Kyoto. When I did that research, I was overwhelmed by the information overload, so I went to my hostel lobby and checked the brochures – something I never do. But it was in doing just that that made me decide where to finally go.

When you talk to anyone in Tokyo, they’ll probably ask if you’re taking any trips outside of Tokyo. “Kyoto?” is what they’ll ask first, but what you should know is that Kyoto is a half-day trip away. Nikko and Kamakura weren’t as far, but according to the brochure I had picked up, they looked just as beautiful and just as touristy (for a good reason).

And then there was Kawagoe.

The description of Kawagoe was the only one without the overused word touristy. That, and with limited time, and limited funds, Kawagoe seemed the most logical Japanese town, for more or less what I was looking for: a glimpse of old Japan. The brochure said it was “30 minutes away by train” but really it turned out to be 1 hour and 20 minutes for me from Akasaka using the Tokyo Metro (but only ¥550).

Maybe not the smartest decision to decide my Tokyo Day Trip off of one photo and one description, but hey, that spontaneity was what I needed to add some more spice to my trip. Just so you know, Kawagoe was the it city back in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867). Well, the it city for Tokyo, as it was first a popular suburb for trade, and then eventually the adopted town of many of Tokyo’s powerful residents. Today, you may even see signs referring to Kawagoe as Koedo or Little Edo, Edo being the name for Tokyo back in the day.

More interesting for you perhaps is that Kawagoe is known for its sweet potatoes, kimono-wearing women, Candy Alley, and wooden architecture. Check out my day trip to Kawagoe in photos here:

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Japanese Colors

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kimono women

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Flying Fish

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Japanese women wearing Kimonos

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Typical Kawagoe Architecture

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Dolls

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Japanese Papier Maché

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kimono

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Photos

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kawagoe Products

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kawagoe Architecture Little Edo

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kawagoe Store

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Ice Cream

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Kimono girls chilling out

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Candy Alley Decoration

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Japanese living their lives

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Candy Alley

Kawagoe Travel Guide | Cute Japanese photo

Day Trips from Tokyo – Where have you been?


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  • raissaemail

    You forgot to mention what flavor and how nice that ice cream was 🙂
    What are you eating in tokio anyway?!
    How do you like your solo-gig? Do you feel alienated? I do, just by looking at your pictures..wich are beautiful! We must do that fabric fish thing on streets here too..

  • After visiting Japan three times, I am yet to go here, but it is now on my list! I even want to get to Nikko – it looks like it would be beautiful in the Fall! 🙂