Kawagoe, where the traditional Japanese townscape is still visible, is also a very attractive gourmet town!

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Written by 編集部

There are certainly many people who would like to enjoy Japanese townscapes like the one in the photographs below when they visit Japan.

Are these pictures of Kyoto? Or Nikko?

In fact, this is Kawagoe in the Saitama Prefecture and can be reached in approximately one hour from central Tokyo. Kawagoe still offers a traditional townscape, taking you on a travel 400 years back in time to the Edo Period. Because of this feature, Kawagoe is affectionately nicknamed “little Edo”.

Last time, we introduced a model course of Kawagoe City.

This time, we would like to focus on the attractive local cuisine. So what are the Kawagoe gourmet specialties recommended by the editorial department?

①Unaju (jo) ¥3,400
A dish consisting of rice topped with eel cooked in a salty-sweet sauce. The dish has been popular amongst the Japanese since the Edo Period. In Japan, it is not only popular because of its taste, but also because it is a nourishing dish reducing fatigue.

▼You can enjoy this at “Ogagiku”.
Established in the late Edo Period. Focused on only eel for more than 200 years. The secret sauce has fans overseas as well as at home. Unique well-established restaurant in a threestory wooden building.

【小川菊 (Ogagiku)】
Address:3-22 Naka-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:11:00-14:00, 16:30-19:00 (Closes when sold out)
Closed:Thu. (Except Hol.)

②Imokoi ¥180 per piece
An exquisite combination of sweet potato and bean paste wrapped in a chewy dough. A masterpiece of imogashi.

▼You can enjoy this at “Kasho Umon Tokinokaneten”.
Kawagoe has been famous for the production of sweet potatoes for a long time. This is a shop taking advantage of this feature by making Japanese confectionery. Visitors can enjoy the sweets in the shop or take them home as souvenirs.

【菓匠右門 時の鐘店(Kasho Umon Tokinokaneten)】
Address:15-13 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:9:00-18:00
Closed:End-of-year and New Year holidays

③Kame-no-monaka ¥80 each (without tax)
Japanese sweet consisting of moderately sweet red bean paste made from carefully cooked Adzuki beans wrapped in a crispy thin crust made from domestic glutinous rice. Another characteristic of the Kame-no-monaka is the shape of tortoiseshell, which is seen as a sign of good fortune in Japan.

▼You can enjoy this at “Kameya”.
Well established store of one-time purveyor to the Kawagoe domain. The moderately sweet Kame-no-monaka and cinnamon-flavored Kogane-imo are standards for gift-giving.

Address:4-3 Naka-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:9:00-18:00
Closed:Jan. 1
Credit cards accepted:A,D,J,M,V

④Dango ¥60 per skewer(Without tax)
Handmade dango (rice dumplings) with a traditional nostalgic flavor. Only soy sauce taste available.

▼You can enjoy this at “Tanakaya”.
Well-established store founded more than 150 years ago. It is so popular that the dango are often sold out before the evening. The aromatic dango, which are carefully grilled by professionals, are unique!

Address:15-10 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:From 10:30 until all sold out
Closed:May be closed on Mon.

⑤Unique tastes and flavors of 5 varieties from ¥228 to ¥411
The delicate taste has won many awards at fairs around the world and is very popular. It’s more than a simple souvenir. It is a fully fledged craft beer made by paying a lot of attention to the raw materials and production process (it is a small beer brewery where the beer is brewed by skilled professionals). You can enjoy 5 varieties of unique tastes.

▼You can buy this at “Koedo Kurari”.
A facility in a former sake brewery built approximately 140 years ago, which has been renovated while retaining some vestiges of its time. Many products from Kawagoe City are sold, including all 5 varieties of the Coedo beer.

【小江戸蔵里 (Koedo Kurari)】
Address:1-10-1 Shintomi-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:Meiji-gura: 10:00-18:00 Taisho-gura: 11:00-22:00 (excluding 15:00-17:00) Showa-gura: 10:00-19:00
Closed:Open 365 days
Credit cards accepted:A,D,J,M,V (except the Showa-gura)

⑥¥10,800 for 1.8 liters. ¥5,400 for 720 ml
Rare Japanese sake produced in a special process by carefully collecting small quantities. Freely bringing out the umami of the rice, it is a brand sake representative of Kawagoe city.

▼You can buy this at “Koedo Kagami-yamashuzō”.
Sake brewer producing and selling the local sake “Kagamiyama” in the tradition of small quantity production – highest quality. “Kagamiyama” is certainly a good present for the sake lovers amongst your family and friends.

【小江戸鏡山酒造 (Koedo Kagami-yamashuzō)】
Address:10-13 Naka-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:9:00-17:00
Closed:Open 365 days
Credit cards accepted:A,D,J,M,V (Accepted at Koedo Kurari)

⑦All sorts of matcha sweets

▼You can enjoy this at “Lightning cafe”.
A cafe offering healthy ingredients in a delicious and smart way. The sweets made from “Kawagoe cha” tea leaves carefully cultivated in a tea plantation of the Kawagoe area are popular among travelers. Have a break here when you’re tired from walking!

【Lightning cafe】
Address:2F, 15-21 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:11:00-19:00 (Spring to summer)

⑧The popular course menu Rin ¥5,500
Course meal made using carefully selected natural and seasonal ingredients. High quality dishes such as assorted sashimi or nigirizushi are offered one by one.

▼You can enjoy this at “Fūrin”.
When you step down this narrow road, you enter a tranquil space of purely Japanese buildings and a garden. Relax at this restaurant and enjoy kaiseki banquate cuisine.

Address:6-4 Naka-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours: Lunch: 11:30-15:00 (L.O. 14:00), dinner: 17:00- 22:00 (L.O. 21:00)
Credit cards accepted:A,D,J,M,V

⑨Hatsukari soy sauce ¥832 for 1 l, ¥1,328 for 1.8 l
Locally-produced soy sauce called Hatsukari soy sauce, which is made from Kawagoeproduced soy beans. The aroma is exquisite, and both its sweetness and umami are deep.

▼You can enjoy this at “Matsumoto Soy Sauce”.
In the historic warehouse built in 1830, professionals produce soy sauce using the traditional Japanese method of “natural brewing”.

【松本醤油商店 (Matsumoto Soy Sauce)】
Address:“Kamon RAKUZA”, 10-13 Naka-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:9:00-18:00
Closed:Open 365 days
Credit cards accepted:A,D,J,M,V

⑩Thick Needle Yakisoba
Alongtime Kawagoe specialty. The noodles are thick and chewy. They have become extremely popular as Kawagoe tourism has boomed. With chawanmushi (savory steamed egg) and a hearty bowl of miso soup.

▼You can enjoy this at “Kaiuntei”.
Various reasonably priced and filling menus are on offer.

【開運亭 (Kaiuntei)】
Address:2F, 2-10 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe City
Business hours:11:00-20:00
Closed:Mon. (If Mon. is a public holiday, the following weekday will be closed instead)

Finally, we would like to introduce two kinds of special tickets for travelers visiting Japan.

▼Seibu Railway Kawagoe Access Ticket (discount on round trip fares)

Discount ticket set that includes round-trip regular and special express tickets (special express seats require both) for travel between Hon-Kawagoe and Seibu Shinjuku or Takadanobaba Stations. Passenger may ride Koedo special express with all seats reserved and the reclining seat equipped.
Price: Adult: ¥1,500 Child: ¥750
Where to buy:Shinjuku station and Takadanobaba Station of Seibu Line or Bell Desk (Tourist Information Center) at 1F of Shinjuku Prince Hotel

▼KAWAGOE DISCOUNT PASS for foreign tourist Tōbu Railway riders

The pass is a package combining a discount round-trip ticket between Ikebukuro Station and Kawagoe or Kawagoe-shi Station on the Tōjō Line with privileges to get discounts or special services upon presentation of the pass at six designated facilities including souvenir shops and restaurants.
Where to buy:Ikebukuro Station of Tōjō Line and the Ikebukuro branch of Tōbu Travel.

Kawagoe assembles delicious meals and famous local products produced by professionals who are concerned about authenticity. Let’s indulge in sightseeing and gourmet experiences!

Note: Abbreviations of card companies that can be used.
A = American Express / D = Diners / J = JCB / M = MasterCard / V = Visa / 銀 = UnionPay