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Kawagoe: The Perfect Day Trip from Tokyo

Take a day trip back in time to the Edo era

Little Kawagoe, a short one hour train ride away from Shinjuku Station on the Seibu Line, is a wonderful spot to get away from the big city and feast your eyes on buildings from the Edo and Meiji era.

The main street is lined on both sides by gorgeous old wooden merchant houses, shops and inns, lovingly preserved. The side streets are also dotted with some of these grand houses, along with temples, craft stores and the lovely cobbled roads.

The town is home to several festivals, so make sure you check to see if something is going on during your visit. If not, there is still the Festival Museum, so you can get a feel for the colorful parades!

Make sure to explore the little streets of 'dagashiya', old-fashioned candy and sweets stores. Apparently large sticks of black sugar-coated puffed gluten (which tastes better than it sounds) are a popular souvenir.

Kawagoe is also famous for its sweet potatoes, and there are tasty snacks galore to enjoy... and for those into a more elegant experience, the sweet potatoe kaiseki meals are as beautiful as they are delicious.

This rather excellent website can help you make the most of your trip:
http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/

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by Chiara

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