Kawagoe (かわごえ/川越) is a beautiful traditional down less than an hour away from central Tokyo.  It features a famous authentic old tower and shopping street, which is why many people call it ‘Little Edo’ (Edo was the old name for Tokyo).  A great place for a nice one day trip away from the skyscrapers of Tokyo.

Budget travel tips

  • Walk down the main streets full of traditional buildings.  See the map below for a recommended route.

Places to visit

Bell Tower

A traditional watch tower that is often featured on historical dramas. Location shown on map below.

Shopping district

Full of old-fashioned warehouse style shops, it is worth visiting this area for some great photos, souvenirs and traditional food.

 Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Alley)

Kashiya Yokocho is a little street lined with small shops selling traditional Japanese candy.  Small portions are available, so try a few shops!

Kitain Temple (FREE)

A famous temple only a short walk away from the other points of interest in Kawagoe. Features hundreds of Buddhist stones in its garden.

How to get there

From Shinjuku station, take the Saikyo Line  (green JR line) to Ikebukuro station, then take the Tobu Tojo Line (private line) to Kawagoe station (43 mins, 600 yen).

From Tokyo station, take the Marunouchi Line (red Metro line) to Ikebukuro station, then take the Tobu Tojo Line (private line) to Kawagoe station (52 mins, 640 yen).


Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Wakatake Ryokan

Basic hotel with decent rooms in central Kawagoe. Check prices at Booking.com.

There are more hotels in nearby Tokyo.

Compare prices at Booking.com

Free Volunteer Guides

The Kawagoe English Walkers


KOEDO KAWAGOE Tourist Association

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict