Hello everyone, today I'll take you for a walk and hang out in an old town atmosphere near Tokyo. It is called Kawagoe（川越). Kawagoe city is in Saitama province (the north of Tokyo). It is the old town since Edo period. Old buildings and houses have been conserved so it gives the atmosphere of ancient Japan every well. For those who have limited time, you can do half day walk, or if you have more time, you can do a full day walk.It is convenient to go there by many routes of trains. They are:1. JR Kawagoe Line (Shinjuku to Kawagoe) Local 60 minutes, 570 yen2. Tobu Tojo Line (Ikebukuro to Kawagoe) Express 31 minutes, 450 yen3. Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line (Shibuya to Kawagoe) Express 60 minutes, 590 yen4. Seibu Shinjuku Line (Seibu Shinjuku to Kawagoe) Limited Express 43 minutes, 890 yen.
When you arrive at Kawago, there is Tourist Information Office to get the maps or ask for more information. Or if there are too many people or they run out of English language tourist maps, you can follow this link http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/map/map.pdf.
Our destination today is at Kurazukuri Zone (Old storehouse zone). Get off and walk out of East Exit. Turn left and walk through Atre mall and then you will see the entrance of Crea Mall.
This street has many shops and also restaurants like 100 yen shop, 3 coins (everything 300 yen) , Salut! (cute home decoration items with the estimate price at 1,000 เยน ), clothes shops like ZARA , GAP, MaxMara, shoes like ABC MART, supermarket and many restaurants. It could be called a one stop service place. You can find everything here.
After walking pass shops in the present time to Kurazukuri Zone, there's no need to tell that the atmosphere of houses around suddenly changes like we walk pass the door to the past. Most of the houses are two-storey wooden houses that can tell us very well about the history in the past. These houses once were shops and storehouses. This city was the merchant city that had to deliver provisions to the capital in Edo period, which is Tokyo at the present time. These houses have been adapted into shops to welcome both local and international tourists.
The symbol of this place is Time Bell Tower：時の鐘 in the center of this street. Don't worry that you can't find it because many people come and take a picture with this tower. Shops around are full of tourists. There are lots of things to see. Famous thing to eat here is products made from cassava.
For example, potato mash from this Uncle's shop. It used to be seen on TV many times. People line up in long line to buy.
I continued walking and then I found this big Totoro welcoming us in front of the place. I couldn't help it but walking inside to check it out.
There are everything about this animation, from dolls to many miscellaneous appliances. If you want to buy a souvenir in a very Japanese style, there are a lot of shops here. This shop for example, has the second floor that sells Powerstone. The decoration and layout are quite nice. On the first floor, the items are quite traditional. Like small and big bags made of Japanese design clothes.
When I was getting tired, then it was time for soft ice cream! This potato flavor is mixed between yellow and purple colors. Sweet and refreshing!! Yummy!
Or if you don't like anything sweet, I have a beautiful local recommend this COEDO beer.
COEDO beer is Super Premium Japanese Craft Beer that recieved many awards from all over the world. For those who want to try, you can sit and drink there or have it in a plastic glass to walk around, or also buy as bottles or cans for takeaway. Of course I didn't miss. Hehe
There are many places around Tokyo to hang out and go for a walk. If you have a chance, come outside, find something good to eat. Change the atmosphere from surrounded high buildings to a relaxing one in Kawagoe. It can give you another kind of fun!Pungko Admin of Tokyo’s LifeStyle page by the daughter-in-law of Japan