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Central Japan Self Drive Itinerary - 川越 Kawagoe Koedo Itinerary & Things to do in Kawagoe!



Strategically located in the central of Japan, Kawagoe is a trade city in the past. Well known for its Edo style building, Kawagoe is also named as little Edo. Located 1-hour drive from central Tokyo, Kawagoe is a popular day trip for many. For us, it makes a great stop before continuing our trip to Karuizawa.  
Do note that this is part 1 of our 7 Day 6 Night Central Japan Self Drive Itinerary. Be sure to come back for more updates in the upcoming week!

Getting to Kawagoe from Tokyo By Train
Image Credit Tobu Train

The cheapest way to get to Kawagoe from Tokyo is by Tobu Train via Tobu Tojo Line. One way trip from Ikebukuro station is Kawagoe is 470 yen and tourist can purchase a round trip for 710 yen. More information on Kawagoe Discount Pass here 

A premium version for unlimited rides on a selected local bus is available for 970 yen. If you are not fond of walking, I highly recommend you to purchase the premium version as the attractions are not located near Kawagoe station. Getting the premium card gives you access to Tobu Koedo loop bus and all main attraction. More information on Kawagoe Discount Pass premium card here 

Alternatively, one can travel from Shinjuku Station to Hon- Kawagoe Station via Seibu train for 500 yen per way. Travelling via Seibu train allows you to alight at Hon-Kawagoe Station which is nearer to the attractions and can be reach by foot. The express train is available for 1000 yen per way.

If you are travelling with JR pass, you can take the train from Shinjuku station. A single way would cost 760 yen per way via Omiya along the JR Saikyo/Kawagoe Line. Unless you purchase JR pass, I would not recommend you to take this route.

Kawagoe Ichinoya
Kick start the trip by visiting the oldest eel restaurant in Kawagoe! The 7th generation of the family serves one of the best Unagi in town. Grilled to perfection and top with a sauce that is not overly sweet, the eel is definitely one of the best Unagi meal we had.  The eel was fresh and juicy! It melts in the mouth instantly! Definitely worth the calories even though it burnt a hole in the pocket.

Address: : 1 Chome-18-10 Matsuecho, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0056, Japan
Opening hour: 11am – 9pm, Daily

Kashiya Yokocho
Afterwards, take a walk along the street of Kashiya Yokocho also known as Penny Candy Lane is a tourist street in Kawagoe. Expect to find many souvenir and local snacks along the street! There are many retail shops and one of our favourites is Koedo Kurari for local snacks! The yam pudding and mochi are good! Do visit the sake shop at the other wing of Koedo Kurari! For 500 yen, one can taste 5 different kinds of sake from the vending machine!

Other Things to do in Kawagoe

Kurazukuri no Machinami
Image Credit: common wiki

The Edo period warehouse was converted into restaurants and souvenirs shop. Taking a walk the old street definitely makes one feels like a travel back in time into ancient Edo. During the festive period, one can expect to see a large crowd and performance along the street! Spot the Belltower located near the main street. If you are lucky enough, the chimes four times a day - 6:00, 12:00, 15:00 and 18:00.

Kita-in Temple
Image credit: Common Wiki
Kita-in Temple in Kawagoe ’s oldest and most popular temple. The temple is very popular among the locals, we even saw couples holding their wedding ceremony when we drive by. Its main hall is also part of the Edo Castle. In addition to the temple and shrine, there is a small museum in the temple featuring the remains of Edo Castle for one to explore.

Entrance Fee: 400 Yen

Honmaru Goten (Kawagoe Castle)
Image Credit: Kawagoe Tourism
Visit Honmaru Goten, the remaining flat land castle that was built in 1457 during the Edo Period. Interestingly, all 21 lords reside in the castle. Today, the remaining of the castle is open to the public and one can visit the rooms and view how the lord used to live.  

Entrance Fee: 100 Yen

Overall, Kawagoe is a nice little getaway from the city and a fun stopover during our self-drive road trip. H love the Sake Vending machine! & the yam snacks bought here were definitely one of my favourites! Sadly, it was my first stop and I can’t bring more of it back!


Read Hokkaido Itinerary Self Drive - 10 Day 9 Night here

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