"Toki no Kane" - Symbol of Kawagoe Still Telling Time in the Town of Koedo
Many traditional candy shops and sweets shops can be found throughout the city in other locations besides the nostalgic candy shops found in Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Shop Alley), which was founded in the early Meiji Period.
The sweets vary from traditional sweets made using the same process as in the old days to sweets using sweet potatoes which are a Kawagoe specialty. Each shop has a unique method of producing these sweets so they all have a different taste and appearance.
At shops that allow you to observe the process, you can also taste the flavor of freshly made sweets.
"Kashiya Yokocho" - Nostalgic Taste Passed Down from the Previous Generation.
"Kashiya Yokocho" (Penny Candy Alley) is a famous alley in Kawagoe with a stone-paved alley embedded with colorful glass that is lined with 22 traditional style Japanese candy shops. The candy shops lined along this alley pass down the simple and nostalgic taste of days gone by. Once anyone steps foot in one of these stores, they feel like a child again. This place is where all generations, both children who are unfamiliar with traditional candy and adults who feel nostalgic, become excited.
It is said that the beginning of this Kashiya Yokocho was in the early Meiji Period when Suzuki Tozaemon started to make candy in this prospering town in front of Yojuin Temple. In 1923, after Tokyo was damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake, this area became the main producer and supplier of candy. There were more than 70 shops in the early Showa Period but due to the war and changes in lifestyle the number has decreased. But even as time changes, the atmosphere of the alley and spirit of the store owners when they call out to potential customers, fills people with a feeling of comfort. In 2001, the simple and nostalgic scent of Kashiya Yokocho was chosen as one of the "100 Scent Sceneries" by the Ministry of the Environment.
"Kita-in Temple" - Former 'Tendaishu' Head Temple of Kanto
The 'Tendaishu' is a renowned temple first built by mentor Jikakudaishi in 830. It was officially known as 'Seiya San Muryojyuji Kita-in' Temple.
This is known as the temple where Meiso Tenkai Soujyou was the head priest and it possesses many cultural assets such as buildings which were relocated from Edo Castle. It is the most famous temple in Saitama Prefecture and is renowned nationwide.
When Tenkai Soujyou, who was highly trusted by Tokugawa Ieyasu, became the 27th head priest the temple became specially protected by the regime.
Also relocated was the 'Kyakuden', the birthplace of Iemitsu, with murals and sumi drawings more luxurious than those in Edo Castle and 'Shoin' a room used for dressing and makeup by the 3rd generation Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu's nanny Kasuga no Tsubone.
Many of these historical buildings related to Edo Castle are recognized as important cultural assets. There is also the Senba Toshogu Shrine, one of the three major Toshogu Shrines of Japan, which has a strong association with the Tokugawa Family that built the Edo Period.
Popular among tourists are the 500 Statues of Rakan of the Kita-in Temple, which is one of the three major Rakan of Japan. It has approximately 540 stone buddhas that precisely express human emotions.
Throughout the year, there are many events allowing people to enjoy the different seasons of the temple, such as the 'Daruma Fair' on New Year's Day, 'Setsubun' in February and the 'Cherry Blossom Festival' in spring.
- 1-20-1 Kosemba-machi, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture
- March 1 - November 23
Weekdays 8:50 - 16:30
Sundays and holidays 8:50 - 16:50
November 24 - February 28
Weekdays 8:50 - 16:00
Sundays and holidays 8:50 - 16:20
- Adult 400 yen, Student (primary school, junior high school) 200 yen
- December 25 - January 8
February 2 -3
April 2 -5
"Honmaru Goten of kawagoe castle" - Symbol of the Kawagoe Feudal Domain
During the Edo Period in 1848, Honmaru Goten was built by Matsudaira Naritsune, a Kawagoe feudal domain master who was awarded with 1.7 million koku (unit used to express the rank of a feudal master). The oldest building in Kawagoe is Honmaru Goten has been created with a samurai-like calmness. Kawagoe Castle was built by Oogigayatsu Uesugi Mochitomo to challenge Kogakubo Ashikaga Shigeuji, and in 1457 ordered Vassal Ota Michizane and Ota Dokan to construct the castle.
In 1639, Tokugawa Shogunate leader and Kawagoe feudal domain master Matsudaira Nobutsuna implemented a large scale construction project to expand Kawagoe Castle. After the Meiji Restoration, Honmaru Goten was torn down and what remains today is only one part of what was reconstructed in 1848 - the entrance and the main hall used as waiting rooms for feudal lords who came on missions. Once in the entrance, the hallway surrounds the room. Some rooms are decorated very simply, but the drawings found on the cedar doors and the structure of the driveway entrance are very elaborate. The construction can be called a palace. Dolls representing the feudal lords are found in the waiting rooms and it almost seems as if you can hear conversations from that era.
- 2-13-1 Kuruwa-machi, Kawagoe City,Saitama Prefecture
- 9:00 - 17:00 ( Admission until 16:30 )
- Genera l \100
High school/college students \50
Free for middle school students and younger
- Every Monday (excluding Mondays that follow a holiday or the Kawagoe festival), days following holidays (excluding Saturdays and Sundays), 4th Friday of the month (excluding holidays), Dec 28 – Jan 4
※Prices may change.(Please inquire separately for group prices.)