Koedo Kawagoe

Koedo Kawagoe

Koedo Kawagoe used to be a town crowded with people and traffic to and from Edo on the Kawagoe Kaido (road) and the Shingashi River. It is a popular spot only 50 minutes from Shinjuku where visitors can overview and fully enjoy Japanese history from the 16th century to the 20th century (from Edo to Taisho to Meiji to Showa periods). Everything about attractive Koedo Kawagoe can be found here, including historical buildings, local specialties, and souvenir shops. You can also find coupon information convenient for traveling on the Seibu lines!

Popular way of enjoying Koedo Kawagoe

Koedo Kawagoe Course

Renting a kimono will allow you to more fully enjoy the ambience of Koedo. You might also enjoy the charm of riding in a rickshaw through the town. This sightseeing course gives you the true Koedo Kawagoe experience.

Historical Sightseeing Course

Kawagoe has a long history in the region of fertile land known as Musashino. This historical sightseeing course allows you to experience the history and culture of Kawagoe.

Full Kawagoe Sightseeing Course

You can see the history of Kawagoe at Kitain Temple and Hikawa Shrine, and experience the charm of the traditional Kurazukuri style storehouses throughout town in Koedo Kawagoe. This course allows you to experience the highlights of Kawagoe in a single day.

Koedo Kawagoe

Kawagoe is a castle town where a history-rich townscape welcomes visitors. Experience a "timeslip" into a town in the Edo period

Kawagoe, commonly called Koedo (literally means small Edo), is a town featuring old storehouse-like houses with black plaster walls and tiled roofs. As one of the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan, Kawagoe showcases the architecture of the Edo period. The city attracts many tourists every year as a well-known tourist spot where visitors can revisit the Edo period. It takes only about 50 minutes from Shinjuku on the Seibu line to Kawagoe.

Koedo

Koedo means a town that once thrived like Edo or a town reminiscent of the Edo period.
Kawagoe used to have close ties with the feudal government of Edo as a prosperous castle town in the Edo period.

Explore the fascination of Koedo Kawagoe by historical age!

Learn about the different historical periods!

Pre-Edo Period
(before 1603)

Before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, many feudal lords and rulers selected the historical town of Kawagoe as a place to build shrines and other related buildings because of its strategically important and convenient location.

Edo Period
(1603–1868)

Kawagoe thrived as a castle town important for the protection of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo. The Shingashi River and the Kawagoe Kaido (road) served as distribution arteries in the Edo period, and the coming and going of people and goods through these arteries gave rise to the various cultures in Kawagoe.

Meiji Period
(1868–1911)

Shifting from the age of samurai to the age under the influence of Western civilization, the Meiji period was when the culture that has formed a foundation of today's Japan was born and flowered. It was during this period that the value of the Kurazukuri architectural style (old storehouse-like way of construction) was recognized anew in Kawagoe after suffering a great fire in 1893.

Taisho Period
(1912–1926)

This is the period when many Western-style buildings were built, forming a striking contrast to Kurazukuri houses. Visitors can enjoy a retro-flavored atmosphere of the Taisho Roman through these Western-style buildings.

Showa Period
(1926–1988)

This is the period when the Western-style architecture unique to Japan, which has incorporated the "DNA" of Western-style buildings of the Meiji and Taisho periods, was established. Many of them feature delicate decorations that demonstrate the superb craftsmanship of Japanese workmen.

Where can you go to experience the different periods?

Pre-Edo

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine – The god of marriage and happy family is enshrined

The shrine was built about 1500 years ago. People in Kawagoe call the god as "Hikawa-sama" and cherish it as a village shrine protecting the entire land of Kawagoe.
Access
Approximately 25-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (9)

Kitain Temple –Treasury of Important Cultural Properties

The temple was built in the Heian period and was specially esteemed and protected by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Many believers worship the temple's founder as a guru capable of expelling evil spirits.
Access
Approximately 15-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (12)

Edo

Toki no Kane (time bell) - Symbol of Koedo Kawagoe

The bell tower, which was built in the Edo period, still rings four times a day to tell the hour. The bell tower has been cherished by local people since the beginning of the Edo period. The current Toki no Kane is the fourth bell.
Access
Approximately 13-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (1)

Osawa Residence -National Important Cultural Property

This is the oldest Kurazukuri store on the Ichibangai Street lined with Kurazukuri houses. The store in Kurazukuri style survived through the great fire in 1893 and proved that the Kurazukuri style is highly fire resistant. Consequently, merchants in Kawagoe started building their stores in Kurazukuri style.
Access
Approximately 15-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (2)

Meiji

Kashiya Yokocho – Street lined with nostalgic candy stores

Kashiya Yokocho (alley of candy stores) is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Koedo Kawagoe, featuring more than 20 mom-and-pop candy stores. The history of Kashiya Yokocho dates back to the early Meiji period, when one candy manufacturer opened a store here. There were more than 70 candy stores in the early Showa period.
Access
Approximately 18-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (3)

Museum of Kurazukuri – Discover everything about the Kurazukuri style

This is a museum where you can actually step inside a Kurazukuri house and find its design, structure, and layout at first hand. The museum building (house) was built by Bunzo Koyama, a tobacco wholesale merchant, after the great fire in 1893.
Access
Approximately 14-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (4)

Taisho

Kawagoe Christ Church – One of the Registered Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan

The red brick building of the church exudes and conveys the atmosphere of the good old Taisho period to the present. The chapel in the Tudor style was designed by Mr. Wilson, an American architect, who was visiting Japan at the time.
Access
Approximately 10-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (5)

Kawagoe Branch of Saitama Resona Bank – Elegant Western-style Building

The building features a dome and vertically long windows that horizontally slide open and is one of the buildings that have incorporated Western culture to a large extent. It was designed by Katsuya Yasuoka, who also took part in the construction of red brick office buildings in Marunouchi, Tokyo.
Access
Approximately 12-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (6)

Kawamoku Headquarters Office Building (former Rokken-machi Post Office) – Symbol of Rokken-machi

The building was originally built in 1927 as a furniture show space, to which an annex was added in 1937. During the Showa period, it was used as a post office. The penthouse style of the building, which leverages the corner location, stands out at the intersection. Currently, it is used as a restaurant.
Access
Approximately 10-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station MAP (8)

Showa

Kawagoe Chamber of Commerce and Industry – One of the modern buildings which were popular in the Taisho period

This is a landmark building located at the north end of the Taisho Roman Yume Street. It is said that the dignified structure of the building with thick pillars like a Greek temple represents the typical architectural design for financial organizations that has prevailed across the country in the Taisho period.
Access
Take a Tobu bus #01 bound for Shinmei-cho Shako and get off at the Naka-cho Mae bus stop. The building is a one-minute walk from the bus stop MAP (7)

Lodging information

Prince Hotel Sunshine City

Prince Hotel Shinjuku

Prince Hotel Kawagoe

Related links

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