During the Edo Period (1603-1867), Kawagoe was an important city to Tokyo (called Edo at the time) for trade and strategic purposes. Close ties were formed between the two cities and over the years Kawagoe gained many aspects of Edo culture and architecture. Kawagoe is called “Koedo” (little Edo) because it was one of the most prosperous suburbs of Edo. And there are the strong Edo period atmospheres now.
Kawagoe has a Pacific-coast climate. Northwest winter winds are strong and there are many days of fine weather and dry air in winter. In summer, temperatures reach 30゜C and the town experiences occasional thunderstorms. In the rainy season, June and July, there is a lot cloudy weather and rain. Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit due to predicable, comfortable weather.
Kawagoe is located in Saitama and is about 30 minutes by train from central Tokyo. Kawagoe is a satellite city of Tokyo but it’s also the commercial and business center of southwest Saitama. Kawagoe is surrounded by rivers. Kawa means 'river' and Goe means 'over,' since one would need to cross a river by ship to reach the town in earlier times.
Kawagoe station (川越駅) is a stop on the JR Saikyo Line and the private Tobu Tojo line. From Tokyo the fastest route is the Tobu Tojo line from Ikebukuro, which takes 30mins on the express and costs ¥450. From Omiya the Saikyo line takes 17 mins and costs ¥320.
Hon-Kawagoe station (本川越駅) is closer to the temple district and is part of the private Seibu-Shinjuku line. Express trains from Shinjuku take 47 mins and cost ¥480.
Kawagoe Station and Shinjuku Station are connected by the direct rapid train Omiya on the JR Saikyo/Kawagoe Line. It takes 55 mins and costs ¥740.
Kawagoe's nearest airports are Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport, both in Tokyo. A shuttle is available form Narita to Kawagoe, which costs ¥3500 and takes 90 to 150 minutes. Haneda offers a similar shuttle service, which costs ¥1700 and takes 65 to 125 minutes.
The Koedo Kawagoe Loop Bus provides access to all the main attractions of the city, and a one-day pass costs ¥300. The buses make their round-trips every 50 minutes on weekdays and every 15 to 30 minutes on weekends and holidays.
Kawagoe is known as "Little Edo" (小江戸 Koedo), after the old name for Tokyo, and its old wooden houses still draw tourists looking for a taste of days gone by. A famous landmark is the Toki no Kane, or Tower of Time, a bell tower located near the Kashiya Yokucho.
Admission: Adults ¥400 ; Children ¥200.
Admission: Adults ¥100 ; Children ¥50.
In Kawagoe, there are many eel shops. Kawagoe became famous for eel dishes during the Edo Period. Kawagoe is also famous for sweet potatoes. There are many traditional Japanese sweets made from sweet potato. From mid-September to early November, you can experience picking potatoes at local farms.
18-3 Wakitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture 350-1122, Japan If you are looking quickly for a place to spend the night, there is a capsule hotel located near the Kawagoe Train Station that offers rooms for around 3,000 yen per night. The hotel can be easily spotted from the train station by the giant red cap on the top of its building, reading CAPSULE HOTEL in large white letters. The hotel has a sauna, showers, locker rooms, laundry machines, and a lounge. It is staffed 24/7 by Japanese employees and has procedures on hand for English-speaking customers.