When next you visit Japan, if you plan to base your trip in Tokyo and make day trips to the surrounding cities, Kawagoe (川越) in Saitama Prefecture will be a great destination. The town known as Little Edo (小江戸) is where you can enjoy both the traditional vibes and conveniences of a modern city!
Just a 30-minute train ride from Tokyo, Kawagoe (川越) in Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県) is where you can travel back in time into the Japanese township in the Edo and the Meiji/Taisho periods. Recognized as the prefecture’s Historical City, Kawagoe houses many historical and cultural properties.
On top of that, there are many delicious street food shops, cafes, and restaurants that you would want to stop by when you visit the retro district of Kawagoe!
Kawagoe’s main tourist area is predominantly centered close to Kawagoe Station. Inside the traditional-style houses are shops and restaurants with interior design combining elements from the Edo period and the 21st century!
Below is a list of recommended spots to visit in Kawagoe, including Japanese-style cafes and places to pray for a happy relationship.
- Kawagoe Yuyu Land (川越湯遊ランドホテル三光)
- Kawagoe Hachimangū Shrine (川越八幡宮)
- Koedo Kurari (小江戸蔵里 川越市産業観光館)
- Kaname-ya (かなめや)
- Kawagoe Kita-in Temple (喜多院)
- Kawagoe Kumano Shrine (川越 熊野神社)
- Taisho Roman Yume-dōri Street (大正浪漫夢通り)
- Yamazaki Museum (山崎美術館)
- The Former Yamazaki Villa (旧山崎家別邸)
- The Little Edo Warehouse District – Kura no Machi Ichibangai Street (蔵の街一番街)
- Toki no Kane Clock (時の鐘)
- Kawgoe Matsuri Kaikan (川越まつり会館)
- Imozen Unagi Unakko (うなっ子)
- Kawagoe Castle Honmaru Palace (川越城 本丸御殿)
- Kawagoe City Museum (川越市立博物館)
- Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine (川越氷川神社)
- Shingashi Riverbank Cherry Blossoms (新河岸川の桜並木)
- Koedo Hatsukari Hotspring (小江戸はつかり温泉 川越店)
- Kadokawa Musahino Museum (角川武蔵野ミュージアム)
For the above historical spots, you can refer to THIS MAP.
Explore Kawagoe With a Guided Tour
If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Kawagoe, how about joining one of the below tours? You can also hire a professional photographer to capture your visit!
- Uncovering the Hidden Treasures of Kawagoe
- Half-Day Kawagoe Walking Tour
- Koedo Kawagoe Customized Private One-Day Tour from Tokyo
- Oishi Park, Oshinohakkai, and Koedo Kawagoe Day tour from Shinjuku
- 1-Hour Kawagoe Photography Session
Tip: Exploring Kawagoe in the traditional Kimono can be a great way to explore the traditional township. Refer to HERE to book a dress-up session!
How to Get to Kawagoe by Public Transportation
There are three rail lines that you can take from Tokyo to get to Kawagoe’s main tourist area, where the traditional township is located. All three of them have direct services departing from Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅) or Shinjuku Station (新宿駅).
- Seibu Railway (西武鉄道): Get off at Honkawagoe Station (本川越駅); it takes around 60 minutes from Shinjuku Station.
- Tobu Railway (東武鉄道): Get off at Kawagoe Station (川越駅); it takes around 45 minutes from Ikebukuro Station.
- JR: Get off at Kawagoe Station (川越駅); it takes around 30 minutes from Ikebukuro Station.
While taking the Tobu Railway may seem faster, Kawagoe Station isn’t as close to the traditional township area as Seibu Railway’s Honkawagoe Station. That said, you can always utilize the normal and the sightseeing bus services.
Tobu Koedo Loop Bus (小江戸名所めぐりバス)
Because Kawagoe’s historical sightseeing area is beyond a 10-minute walk from the closest train station, you can save your energy by taking the Tobu Koedo Loop Bus, which stops at Kawagoe’s main attractions.
You can purchase the One-Day Bus Ticket, which also gives you access to certain Tobu Bus West’s routes.
For more information, you can translate the official webpage HERE using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.
You can also refer to HERE for an English webpage on how to purchase the One-Day Bus Ticket electronically and the valid routes.
CO-EDO Loop Bus (小江戸巡回バス)
Another bus option is the CO-EDO Loop Bus. Because of its retro style, it is probably a bus you want to board, even if your next attraction is just around the corner (´▽｀*).
The same as Tobu Koedo Loop Bus, there aren’t many services running per day. So it is best to check the timetable on the official website HERE beforehand.
The Transportation Deals to Kawagoe
Because Kawagoe is a popular destination that attracts more than 6 million visitors each year, there are transportation deals that come with fantastic benefits at cooperating stores in the city you can take advantage of!
- Tobu Railway: Kawagoe Discount Pass Premium and Kawagoe Discount Pass(小江戸川越クーポン)
- The difference between the premium and the ordinary pass is that the premium pass comes with free bus rides in Kawagoe.
- Seibu Railway: Kawagoe Discount Tickets (小江戸・川越フリークーポンチラシ)
- Seibu Kawagoe Pass
- Kawagoe Access Ticket
Why Is Kawagoe Called Koedo?
Kawagoe has been a merchant town for a long time.
In the Edo period, the culture of Edo (today’s Tokyo) was introduced to Kawagoe through the merchant ships coming in and going out of the town through the Shingashi River (新河岸川). While it is pretty hard for us nowadays to tell apart Edo and traditional Japanese elements, Kawagoe is the closest place to Tokyo to experience some atmosphere from 400 years ago.
It might surprise you, but in the Kantō region, Kawagoe ranks third in terms of the number of cultural properties in it, after Kamakura and Nikkō! The city was fortunate enough to be spared from wars and natural disasters, so most of the historical townscape remains standing. The city is thus recognized as the only Historical City (歴史都市) in Saitama Prefecture.
The Must-Try Specialty of Kawagoe
If we are to speak of a must-try food in Kawagoe, it would be sweet potatoes. While it sounds really ordinary, the Japanese have a way of turning plain food into delicious snacks and side dishes.
But sweet potatoes aren’t native to the Saitama Prefecture. It was introduced from the Satsuma Domain (today’s southern Kyūshū). The sweet potatoes were successfully cultivated at Musashino (武蔵野), north of Kawagoe. After the sweet potatoes were harvested, they were transported to Edo by boat. So the people in the capital had a strong impression of Kawagoe being where the sweet potatoes came from.
The Recommended Time to Visit Kawagoe
- If you only have half a day planned for Kawagoe, arrive around 1 pm. You won’t need to queue for too long for lunch, and you can admire the sunset in the traditional township!
- Just be aware shops in the alleys normally start closing from 4:30 pm onwards. So don’t arrive too late in the afternoon.
- Lastly, while Kawagoe would normally be crowded on weekends and public holidays, special events and temporary stalls are usually held when the Japanese are off work.
Tip: Visit Kawagoe on the 8th, the 18th, or the 28th of the month. It is when interesting events take place in the traditional township. In particular, on these three days of the month, you will get freebies or discounts if you visit a facility in Kimono!
The Most Efficient Way to Explore Kawagoe’s Traditional Township
If you don’t enjoy walking, it is best to take a bus to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. The shrine is around 2.6km away from the station. So a one-way trip by bus will save you time and energy. Furthermore, many souvenir shops are located closer to the station, so you won’t need to carry the souvenirs around when you explore other attractions.
Festivals at Kawagoe
- Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival (小江戸川越春まつり): From late March to early May
- Various events are held in spring, including the Kawagoe Cherry Blossom Festival from late March to early April.
- Koedo Kawagoe Fireworks Festival (小江戸川越花火大会): On a Saturday between late July to late August
- Kawagoe Festival (川越まつり): On the 3rd Saturday and Sunday each year.
- The festival is held at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine and is known as one of the Three Biggest Festival in the Kanto Region (関東三大祭り). Over the weekend, more than 800,000 people would come to Kawagoe for the festival.
- The highlight is the parade with two-story splendid festival floats with 1:1 scale traditional dolls standing atop the floats.
For the exact date of the festivals held at Kawagoe, refer to the event calendar on the official website HERE.
Kawagoe Yuyu Land (川越湯遊ランドホテル三光)
If you plan to spend a night at Kawagoe or want to relax in a hot spring or hot tub, Kawagoe Yuyu Land may be of interest. This hotel, situated 5 minutes from Honkawagoe Station on foot, isn’t your normal Japanese hotel. It has a traditional theater, Koedoza (小江戸座), attached. It is where traditional plays are held on most days.
Just note they don’t have a private hot tub that you can reserve, and the facility exhibit signs of aging.
Koedo Kurari (小江戸蔵里 川越市産業観光館)
Koedo Kurari can be your first and last stop when you visit Kawagoe’s traditional area. This facility was renovated from old warehouses and is filled with Kawagoe’s souvenirs. If you love Japanese sake, sake tasting can also be done here at a reasonable price!
The souvenir shop is just a 3-minute walk from Seibu Railway’s Honkawagoe Station (本川越駅). When you first arrive at Kawagoe, take a brief look at the souvenirs sold here and note the price of the ones you are interested in. If you spot the same item at other shops close by, you can then decide where you want to purchase the item from!
Koedo Kurari was originally the base of Kawagoe’s representative sake brewer, Kagamiyama Brewery (鏡山酒造). The spacious complex was transformed into a tourist facility and community center in 2010, where various events are held on weekends.
The three splendid warehouses in the complex are named Meiji Warehouse (明治蔵), Taishō Warehouse (大正蔵), and Shōwa Warehouse (昭和蔵), according to the era when they were built. They are all designated as national tangible cultural properties, and each has its own theme.
- Meiji Warehouse: Souvenir shop with souvenirs and products from Kawagoe’s long-established stores and famous shops
- Taishō Warehouse: Offering delicious dishes using local specialties and processed products
- Shōwa Warehouse: Where you can taste and compare sake from various breweries in Saitama Prefecture. Soy sauce and miso tasting may also be available.
- The amazing thing is that vending machines are for sake tasting. It is one of those things that you can only experience in Japan!
- Shōwa warehouse is also where you can compare the six different flavored Kawagoe’s bear, COEDO Beer (COEDOビール)
On Koedo Kurari’s ground, you can also take a peek at one of the magnificent festival floats used in the Kawagoe Festival, held at the third weekend in October each year!
Koedo Kurari’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- The opening hours are from
- 10 am to 6 pm for the Meiji warehouse
- 11 am to 10 pm on weekends and public holidays for the Taishō warehouse
- On weekdays, the Taishō warehouse is open from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm.
- 11 am to 7 pm for the Shōwa warehouse
- Koedo Kurari is open from
- It is around a 15-minute walk from Kawagoe Station and a 3-minute walk from Honkawagoe Station.
- If you take the CO-EDO Loop Bus (小江戸巡回バス), get off at Kappō Kawashima (割烹川島).
Before you proceed further in exploring Kawagoe, stop by Kaname-ya for their delicious Dango rice cakes! While it looks ordinary, the Mitarashi Dango sold here was on a Japanese TV show, Matsuko’s Unknown World (マツコの知らない世界), on the 12th of July, 2022.
Apparently, a university lecturer tried more than 600 Mitarashi Dango around Japan and recommended the ones at Kawagoe Kaname-ya.
Kaname-ya uses high-quality flour ground from newly harvested rice. This is probably why the rice cake is a little bit more chewy than usual. Especially in cooler months, instead of the normal Mitarashi Dango, the grilled version, Yaki Dango rice cake, will definitely make you droll!
Aside from the normal sweetened soy sauce-based Mitarashi Dango, Kaname-ya also offers a variety of toppings on the rice cake, including seasonal ones. For example, the Shichimi Soy Sauce Cheese (七味しょうゆチーズだんご) in the photo below is one of the flavors that you will want seconds of!
In spring, the pink cherry blossom paste is a must-have when the city is dyed pink by cherry trees’ pink petals. The brown Amaguri Dango is another must-buy for chestnut lovers (^_-)-☆.
Recently, they have started selling Ichigo Daifuku (いちご大福). This fat round pink confectionary has a strawberry covered with a layer of white bean paste wrapped in a chewy skin. The sourness from the strawberry balances really well with the sweetness from the white bean paste. The Daifuku has become so popular that it rivals Kaname-ya’s signatory Mitarashi Dango!
Lastly, all their products have the flavor translated into English, making it really easy for non-Japanese speakers to order (^_-)-☆.
Kaname-ya’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Kaname-ya is open daily from 12 am until sold out, except for Thursdays.
- The Dango shop is around a 5-minute walk from Honkawagoe Station and a 15-minute walk from Kawagoe Station.
Kawagoe Kita-in Temple (喜多院)
If you are a Japanese history buff or love to examine Japan’s cultural properties, the temple you have to stop by when you get to Kawagoe is Kita-in. This temple has a deep connection with the Tokugawa clan and not only houses the most cultural properties in Kawagoe but is also the last place in Japan to examine the original architecture of the Edo Castle!
For more information, refer to our article on Kita-in!
Kawagoe Hachimangū Shrine (川越八幡宮)
Kawagoe Hachimangū Shrine, the most prominent Hachimangū shrine in Kawagoe City, was erected over 1,000 years ago. Among more than 200 shrines in the city, it is the only one that has Kawagoe included in its name. Despite its location, Kawagoe Hachimangū is usually quiet and serene compared to other shrines in the historical township. So if you ever want to escape the massive crowds, Kawagoe Hachimangū Shrine can be a good place to visit! Plus, it is a place where you can exchange bad luck for happiness!
For more information, refer to our Kawagoe Hachimangū article!
Kawagoe Kumano Shrine (川越 熊野神社)
While Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is the most renowned shrine in Kawagoe, Kawagoe Kumano Shrine is also a shrine you won’t want to miss out on when you visit. There are various fascinating rituals and activities that you can do in the precinct, including ball-throwing for good luck and washing your money for more money to come your way!
For more information, refer to our article on Kawagoe Kumano Shrine!
Taisho Roman Yume-dōri Street (大正浪漫夢通り)
Getting off at JR Honkawagoe Station, the first part of Kawagoe filled with the retro atmosphere is Taisho Roman Yume-dōri Street. If you stop by the street before heading into the area filled with Edo-era housing, your visit to Kawagoe will be a tour back in time in reverse chronological order!
To find out the attractions on the street that are worth your time, refer to our article on Taisho Roman Yume-dōri Street!
The Former Yamayoshi Department Store (旧山吉デパート)
Just next to Kawagoe Art Cafe Elevato, the Renaissance-style building used to be where Kawagoe’s first department store was loaded. Completed in 1936, this elegant building is the last surviving building of Yasuoka Katsuya’s (保岡勝也) design, a reputable architect in the early 20th century.
You won’t be able to explore the building’s interior unless you have an appointment at the dental clinic on the first floor. However, the building exterior may still be artistic enough by itself for you to want to snap a photo!
Yamazaki Museum (山崎美術館)
At the back of the Japanese confectionary maker, Kameya (亀屋), there is a small but quiet museum inside Kameya’s warehouse. The museum, which opened in 1982, was built to celebrate the 150th birthday of the 4th head of the Yamazaki family. It exhibits tools for traditional sweets making and a collection of paintings by Hashimoto Gahō (橋本雅邦). The exhibits differ according to the season, so if you like Japanese art, you may want to stop by the museum more than once.
Hashimoto Gahō, born in Kawagoe Domain, specialized in the style of the Kanō school. At the beginning of the Meiji period, he was one of the first five painters to be appointed as an Imperial Household Artist (帝室技芸員) and was one of the most authoritative painters in Japan in the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.
As the 4th head of the Yamazaki family, Yamazaki Yutaka (山崎豊) was successful in managing the family business and passionate about education. As such, he provided financial support to the artists at the time. This especially included Gahō, who was Kagagoe Domain’s feudal retainer.
All artworks gifted by Gahō were treasured, enabling the Yamazaki Museum’s establishment.
While the entry fee of 500 yen may seem excessive to some, it includes a cup of tea and Kameya’s Kame no Monaka (亀の最中), Kameya’s signature turtle-shaped traditional sweet!
For more information about Kameya (亀屋), refer to our article on the Must-Visit Cafes on Kura no Machi Ichibangai Street!
Yamazaki Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
- Yamazaki Museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm except for Thursdays unless it is a public holiday.
- The last admission is at 4:30 pm.
- The museum closes from the 27th of December to the 2nd of January.
- The admission fee is
- 500 yen for adults
- 350 yen for Senior high school and university students
- 200 yen for elementary and junior high school students
- Yamazaki Museum is around a 20-minute walk from Kawagoe Station and a 10-minute walk from Honkawagoe Station.
- If you plan to take If you take the CO-EDO Loop Bus (小江戸巡回バス), get off at Kuranomachi (蔵の街). For Tobu Koedo Loop Bus (小江戸名所めぐりバス), get off at Nakachō (仲町)
The Former Yamazaki Villa (旧山崎家別邸)
Another cultural property connected to the Yamazaki family that is open to the public is the Former Yamazaki Villa, a 3-minute walk away from Yamazaki Museum. The villa was completed in 1925 as a retirement home for the fifth head of the family. Even the imperial family members stayed at the villa previously. There is even a pine tree planted by the last prince of the Korean Empire in 1929!
The two-story villa was designed by a famous architect of the time, Yasuoka Katsuya (保岡勝也). While it appears to be a Western-style building when seen from the front, it is connected with a one-story Japanese-style house at the back with a traditional-style warehouse attached. The well-maintained building representing Japan’s architectural modernization is now one of the country’s important cultural properties.
Because the villa is partially Western-style and partially Japanese-style, it is a great place to see the differences between the two different cultures. For example, while the ambience is equally relaxing, the veranda in the Japanese-style house and the Western-style house’s decorations are just different!
The dry Japanese garden at the south of the house is another highlight of the villa, designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty. There is also a tea room on the garden’s east. The tea room is a replica of the Gazen-an (我前庵) of Kyoto’s Ninna-ji (仁和寺).
While the villa’s second floor isn’t open to the public, the rest can be explored. This usually takes around 30 to 40 minutes.
Tip: If you understand Japanese, there is a 30-minute guided tour held at 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm. But note it is only available to the first 10 people.
The Former Yamazaki Villa’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
- The villa is open from
- 9:30 am to 6:30 pm from April to September
- 9:30 am to 5:30 pm from October to March
- The last admission is taken 30 minutes before the closing time.
- The villa closes from the 29th of December to the 1st of January and on the first and the third Wednesday of the month. The villa will close on the next business day if it is a public holiday.
- The admission fee is
- 100 yen for adults
- 50 yen for university and senior high school students
- The Former Yamazaki Villa is around a 15-minute walk from Honkawagoe Station and a 25-minute walk from Kawagoe Station.
- If you plan to take a bus, the villa is a 5-minute walk from the bus stop, Nakachō (仲町).
Little Edo Warehouse District – Kawagoe Ichibangai (川越一番街)
When you visit Kawagoe, Kura no Machi Ichibangai Street (蔵の街一番街) has to be on your itinerary. The main street in the old warehouse district is where most of the Kurazukuri townscape from the good old Edo period remains. The street isn’t just about old black-plastered luxurious warehouse-style houses. The historical ambience and the shops and restaurants that line the road have attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists every year!
Refer to our article on the Must-Visit Cafes on Kura no Machi Ichibangai Street for a list of places to enjoy Kawagoe’s delicious sweet potato desserts!
In addition, Kawagoe Ichibangai also has a couple of places where you can make your unique Kawagoe souvenir, including glassblowing and dyeing. There are also soy sauce factory tours for you to participate in. One soy sauce shop even lets you squeeze soy sauce out of the sauce mash!
For more information about these interesting spots to stop by, refer to our Top Five Spots to Visit in Kawagoe for Interesting Activities article (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Toki no Kane Clock (時の鐘)
Toki no Kane is arguably the landmark of Kawagoe. The tower clock was first completed in 1634 under the order of the lord of Kawagoe Domain, Sakai Tadakatsu (酒井忠勝).
In the Edo period, the bell was rung manually at certain times of the day to announce the time. Unfortunately, the tower clock was burnt to ashes in 1774, 1856, and lastly in 1893. So the clock that has been announcing the time four times a day since 1975 is the 4th generation.
Apparently, after the big fire that destroyed a third of Kawagoe’s township, the locals prioritized the clock tower’s reconstruction over their shops and restaurants. This is how important Toki no Kane was to them at the time because, without it, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the time.
From the clock tower’s birth until now, there was a period of time when the bell was just a decoration in Kawagoe, thanks to the Second World War. After the war concluded, the bell was only rung on the Day of Time (時の記念日), which is on the 10th of June each year. It wasn’t until 1975 when an automatic bell striker was gifted to the city, that Toko no Kane Clock was able to resume its original role.
Beyond Toki no Kane Clock is the precinct of Yakushi Shrine (薬師神社). The god here has been looking after the pilgrims’ health, especially eye diseases.
How to Get to Toki no Kane Clock
- Toki no Kane Clock is around a 15-minute walk from Seibu’s Honkawagoe Station (本川越駅).
- You can also take the Kura no Machi Line (蔵の街経由バス) bus from Tobu’s Kawagoe Station (川越駅) and get off at Ichibangai (一番街). Toki no Kane Clock is then just a 2-minute walk away.
- If you take the CO-EDO Loop Bus (小江戸巡回バス), get off at Kura no Machi (蔵の街).
Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan (川越まつり会館)
If you can’t visit Kawagoe on the third weekend of October for the Kawagoe Festival (川越祭), visit Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan for a taste of the energy of this traditional festival. The museum is the best place to get a good understanding of this UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ユネスコ無形文化遺産) and Kawagoe’s history.
For more information, refer to our article on Kawagoe Castle and the Historical Spots Nearby.
Imozen Unagi Unakko (うなっ子)
While not promoting eel cuisine, there is certainly no harm in stopping by the restaurant for its mascot, a giant chameleon standing on a five yen coin. It is probably the most interesting decoration you will find in Kawagoe!
Note that the five yen has been replaced with a finger, making it quite bizarre. Originally the five yen symbolized the connection between the shop and its customers.
Kawagoe Castle Honmaru Palace (川越城 本丸御殿)
Only a small part of Kawagoe Castle remains after most were dismantled in the Meiji period. Despite this, the castle was still chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Castles. It is just amazing to walk through the rooms and halls to admire the architecture, paintings, and interior decorations.
For more information, refer to our article on Kawagoe Castle and the Historical Spots Nearby.
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine (川越氷川神社)
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is arguably the most famous and popular shrine in Kawagoe. The old shrine, more than 1,500 years old, is where the locals pray for marriage ties. In addition to the normal things you would do at a Japanese shrine, such as writing wishes on the back of an ema plaque, there are a few more interesting things you can do here!
For more information, refer to our article on Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine.
Shingashi Riverbank Cherry Blossoms (新河岸川の桜並木)
In early April, you will want to head to Shingashi River at the back of Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine for the gorgeous cherry trees which blossom at the banks of the river.
The cherry blossom tunnel that stretches as far as 500 meters is the best cherry blossom viewing spot in Kawagoe. On weekends and public holidays, there might even be boats down the river that you can board!
The cherry trees here are relatively young, only planted in 1957. The 300 or so trees were gifted by the owner of the traditional sweets shop, Kameya Eisen (亀屋栄泉), to pray for a peaceful afterlife for those who passed away in the Second World War. So the locals also call the cherry blossom here Homare-zakura (誉桜).
Kawagoe Onsen (川越温泉)
If you love hot springs and don’t mind using gender-separate onsen pools, stop by Kawagoe Onsen at the end of the day to rejuvenate. While there are no private hot tubs, there are a total of 18 different hot spring pools, including three saunas, making Kawagoe Onsen a little paradise for hot spring lovers!
The hot spring in the hot tubs is gushing out from 1,200 meters underground. The carbonic spring contains salt and has a moisturizing effect that keeps the skin moist and warm for a long time.
If you plan to stay at Kawagoe for a night, you can visit Kawagoe Onsen for two days in a roll. Kawagoe Onsen’s 18 hot spring pools are divided into two groups based on the theme. The decorations in half of them are wooden, whereas the other half is stone. As men’s and women’s bath interchange daily, you will need to visit the hot spring facility twice to enjoy all 18 pools.
Kawagoe Onsen’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Kawagoe Onsen is open from
- 10 am to 12 am on weekdays
- 9 am to 12 am on weekends and public holidays
- The cost is
- 850 yen for weekdays
- 950 yen for weekends and public holidays
- 450 yen for children from the age of three to elementary school students.
- From Kawagoe Staton’s west exit and Honkawagoe Station, take buses bound for Kasumino (かすみ野) and get off at Nodamachi (野田町).
- You can also walk from the train station, which will take around 20 minutes.
Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring (小江戸はつかり温泉 川越店)
If you love hot springs and/or saunas, stop by Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring and relax in its 14 hot bath pools and sauna rooms. There is even a bedrock bath! Despite not having a private hot spring pool, if you don’t mind sharing your bathing time with strangers, Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring is a great spot for hot spring pool hopping!
Depending on which day you visit and your gender, you will be enjoying either the scenic Sarasara no Yu (さらさらの湯) or the Sabun no Yu (ざぶーんの湯), where a large splash is created when the wooden barrel is turned upside down every five minutes.
On odd-numbered days, Sarasara no Yu is female-only, Sabun no Yu is male-only, and vice versa.
The most unique hot tub has to be the Electric Pot Spring (電気つぼ湯). Just like its name, the hot tub is connected to a low-frequency current. It helps to relieve fatigue, shoulder stiffness and back pain. You can choose from strong and weak tubs. Obviously, the stronger the current, the more numb it will be. Some people might even categorize the sensation as painful.
When you need a break from the hot spring, there is also a nap space to doze off.
Just note that they don’t have a vegetarian option at their restaurant. But you can utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article and ask the restaurant to exclude meat and seafood when preparing your meal.
Important: While shampoo and body soap is available in the bathroom, face and bath towels will cost 300 yen to rent.
Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring’s Business Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
- Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring is open from 8 am to 1 am.
- The last admission is at 12:30 am.
- The admission fees are
- 800 yen for adults on weekdays and 900 yen for weekends and public holidays
- 420 yen for elementary school students and younger children
- For adults, you can get 100 yen off if you enter the facility before 9 am or after 10 pm.
- To get to Koedo Hatsukari Hot Spring, take Seibu Bus from Tobu Railway’s Kamifukuoka Station (上福岡駅) or JR Minami-Furuya Station (南古谷駅) and get off at Jōhokusaitama Kōkōiriguchi-mae (城北埼玉高校入口前) and walk for 15 minutes
Kadokawa Musashino Museum (角川武蔵野ミュージアム)
Lastly, while not in Kawagoe City, we thought you might be interested in stopping by the Kadokawa Musashino Museum in Tokorozawa City next door. The building that houses this multi-purpose facility is just awe-inspiring.
Just a 10-minute walk from Higashi-Tokorozawa Station (東所沢駅), a gigantic rock will suddenly rise from the ground. The 30-meter tall structure was designed by the famous architect Kuma Kengo (隈研吾). Approximately 20,000 pieces of granite were used to construct the hexadecahedron building.
This building was opened in November 2020, filled with contemporary elements and is a perfect fit for Japan’s largest pop culture base, Tokorozawa Sakura Town.
The Bookshelf Theater (本棚劇場)
If you love art and books, you can easily spend a whole day in this modern and innovative museum. Aside from the periodic art exhibitions and a local historical museum, the must-see in the museum is the Bookshelf Theater on levels four and five. While the name doesn’t sound too exciting, wait until you see the 8-meter tall hall with all the walls covered by bookshelves filled with more than 20,000 books!
You might wonder why the shelves are uneven and of different heights. Some books are even placed horizontally instead of in the normal vertical position.
These are all parts of Kuma Kengo’s design, making the bookshelf seemingly float up to the ceiling. In addition, it is a space that reflects how Kengo imagines a human brain’s structure. An impressive light show is also projected on the books about every 30 minutes.
Bookshelf Theater isn’t the only library in Kadokawa Musashino Museum. All flours have a space dedicated to books. Whether it is novels, comics, or other categories, you can surely find a book of interest to you. They are also many English options for you to explore and read.
Other Highlights in Kadokawa Musashino Museum
What an anime lover would enjoy the most is the EJ Anime Museum on the third floor. This is where exhibition events for famous animes are held.
Lastly, don’t miss out on the designer-designed shrine in the courtyard. The Musashino masu Uruwashiki Yamatono Miyashiro (武蔵野坐令和神社) was also designed by Kuma Kengo and other well-known artists.
If you are a fan of Final Fantasy, the ceiling should particularly appeal to you as it was designed by Amano Yoshitaka (天野 喜孝), who produced conceptual design pieces for the game series. Retaining the essential elements of a Japanese shrine, these designers created an amazing modern praying space for those seeking internal peace.
Tip: Download the audio guide app HERE for a more detailed understanding of the museum when you get there.
Kadokawa Musashino Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
- Kadokawa Musashino Museum is open from
- 10 am to 6 pm from Sunday to Thursday
- 10 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday
- The last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
- The museum closes on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday. If Tuesday is a public holiday, the museum will close on the next business day.
- The KadoCafe and SACULA DINER have different business hours.
- Almost all areas of the museum require an admission ticket, refer to the official website HERE for more information and pre-purchase your ticket.
- You can also purchase Manga & Light Novel Library admission ticket through kkday HERE.
- Kadokawa Musashino Museum is a 10-minute walk from JR Higashi-Tokorozawa Station (東所沢駅).