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Posts tagged kawagoe

Kawagoe residence

kawagoe 川越市


Kawagoe’s downtown is famous for its age. A stroll through it makes you think you are back in Edo times. However, even some of the residences, which are far newer, harken back to an older period in Japan’s history.

Kawagoe Newlyweds

japanese married young couple in traditional dress

Kawagoe (川越市) in Saitama Ken (埼玉県) is known as “Little Edo” (小江戸). The Kawagoe surroundings can transport you back in time. This couple, I’m not sure if they were really newlyweds or if they were merely having photos taken as an engaged couple or something, put on traditional threads and posed for their photographer. They didn’t seem to mind when others joined in on the photography orgy. I wasn’t nearly as bold so I took this picture from afar.

Perhaps my favorite part of this picture is the smiling older lady in the reflection on the window.

Japanese restaurant

I love everything about a good traditional Japanese restaurant–the food, the service, the atmosphere. We ate at the place in today’s photo in Kawagoe.

500 disciples of Buddha (埼玉川越の五百羅漢)

On the grounds of the Kitain (喜多院) in Kawagoe, you can find these Buddha statues (Gohyaku Rakan or 500 Nirvana achievers), each with unique expressions on their face. These were carved over 200 years ago.

Little Edo – Part 2


Toki no kane (時の鐘) is the name of Kawagoe’s original bell tower, which is still used four times a day. We heard the noon ringing. The original is about 400 years old. This one was built in 1893, after the great fire that burned most of the town. If you look closely at the bottom, right part of this picture you can see some newlyweds having their pictures taken.


The bell and tower are also featured on Kawagoe’s manhole drain covers. (Kawagoeshi = かわごえし = 川越市 and shi means “city” in Japanese) (おすい = 汚水 and osui means “sewage” in Japanese)

There are all kinds of interesting shops and restaurants in Kawagoe. The one pictured above is called the Garden Cafe, run completely out of an old VW van, which I’m guessing isn’t from the Edo Period.

Kawagoe – Part 1

Last week we had some unseasonably warm days. On Wednesday we went to Kawagoe (川越) in Saitama Ken (埼玉県) to be tourists in “Little Edo” (小江戸). There is very little in town that is actually from the Edo Period, but there are many old buildings from the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, some made to look like they are from the Edo Period. It made for a great day trip from Tokyo, especially on a weekday with no crowds.

I lived in nearby Tokorozawa many years ago, but this was my first visit to Kawagoe.

We arrived at one of the temples (or was it a shrine?) just as the neighboring kindergarten was letting out. All the moms parked their bikes on the temple grounds before picking up their kids.

慈眼堂  喜多院

This lovely, 360-year-old building is known as Jigendo (慈眼堂) and can be found on the grounds of Kitain (喜多院).