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Kawagoe is located northwest of Tokyo, and this quaint Edo-period castle town retains the feel of old Japan. Kawagoe Castle is now ruins but the Honmaru Goten, where the feudal lord dwelt, still remains and can be visited.
Kawagoe is renowned for the street along with old clay warehouses and merchant homes, called Kurazukuri and "Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Street)" where nostalgic candy stores are lined up. Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine also attracts many visitors as a powerful matchmaking spot.
Kawagoe retains the two-story wooden Kurazukuri architecture of its old merchant warehouses. Kawagoe used to be referred to as "Little Edo" due to the wealth of its citizens, who built over 200 two-story warehouses. Surprisingly, about 30 of ornate, earthen-walled storehouses still survive.
Moreover, Kawagoe is also famous for elegant examples of early 20 century brick, cement and stone architecture inspired by Taisho Romanticism. Many of the old buildings from these eras are now museums or working as different functions.
A well-known landmark is the Bell Tower or Toki no Kane. It is said that Sakai Tadakatsu, a Kawagoe feudal master, was the first to build this clock tower approximately 400 years ago. Some said, this Feudal lord was very punctual person. It has been burned down by numerous fires, but has been rebuilt each time.
The current clock tower is the 4th generation that was rebuilt in 1893 after the big Kawagoe fire. Kawagoe merchants put aside rebuilding thier own stores in order to quickly reconstruct the clock tower.
As time passed, the method of ringing the bell has changed from manual to mechanical. However, it still towers over the streets lined with historical Kurazukuri buildings and informs the town of the time. In 1996, the beautiful tone of the bell has been recognized as one of the "100 Sound Sceneries of Japan" that wants to be preserved by the Ministry of the Environment.
A wooden tower made of three tiers is approximately 16 meters high. The bell rings four times a day at 6 am, noon, 3pm and 6pm. This beloved landmark is also designed on the manhole covers.
Kawagoe is the mecca for anyone with a sweet tooth. It is famous for its sweet potato(Yaki imo), unagi (eel) and various Japanese confectioneries. In recent years, it is becoming a great destination for one-day trip from Tokyo.
As sweet potato, you’ll find shops selling sweet potato chips, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato coffee, and even sweet potato beer, which is brewed at the local Coedo Brewery.
While you are strolling this old town, you will smell of this sweet aroma coming from every corner of the street. Take a bite of a freshly baked sweet potato and you’ll understand why they’ve been so popular for so long. Kawagoe sweet potatoes have a mild, creamy taste and a wonderful velvety texture.
The nostalgic stores selling traditional Japanese snack & small toys
The photogenic wind chimes and pinwheels display attracts visitors.
Wagashi generally refers to traditional Japanese confections
Tokyo’s suburb - Residential Area with Omiya Bonsai Village
The city which is famous for Omiya Bonsai Village in Saitama
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Beautifully Preserved with Old Homes in Takayama