Still relatively undiscovered by Western tourists but steeped in the atmosphere of ancient Japan, Kawagoe is a charming town in the Saitama Prefecture, just around 30 minutes from Tokyo (from Ikebukuro Station).
Exploring the “Little Edo,” as Kawagoe is affectionately known, can be done in just half a day, making it a perfect day-trip from Tokyo. It provides a refreshing escape from the hyper-futuristic Japan of the metropolis, allowing you to leap back in time as you stroll among well-preserved merchant houses from the Edo period.
In the Edo period, Kawagoe played a crucial role in trade with the new capital, attracting numerous merchants to settle in the area. Fortunately, significant conservation efforts have been made to protect this region, preserving its ancient charm and offering visitors the chance to wander through a old-time atmosphere.