This weekend, I finally made it to the historic town of Kawagoe or “Little Edo”, and it was even better than I expected! If you’re visiting Tokyo and would like to experience historic Japan, don’t miss this spot. Just an hour train or car ride from central Tokyo (30 min from Ikebukuro), this area transports you with its original pharmacies, ramen shops, shrines, and candy shops. Some of the buildings are originals from the 1600s that survived the earthquakes, bombings, and fires.
The main street is lined with old merchant storehouses and the time bell tower. For a beautiful spring weekend, it wasn’t crowded. If they made this street pedestrian-only, it would only add to the ambiance. But even with the traffic, the strip of historic buildings was such a pleasure to walk.
Don’t forget to adventure into the side streets, including Penny Candy Alley! In the 1600 – 1800s, this street housed over 70 candy shops, and shops still occupy this area selling traditional candy and snacks.
We stayed there for an afternoon, but I can’t wait to go back to explore the area more thoroughly – including a meal at a ryotei.
If you have a pet, don’t hesitate to bring your pal along with you! Many pets walk the streets here, and although they’re not allowed into many of the food shops, there’s a few cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating. Check out Kawagoe’s website for access information, a map of the area, restaurants, and famous landmarks.