industrial robots
Cranking out widgets in search of meaning...

Kawagoe Day Trip 2023


We had heard about Kawagoe from a couple of YouTuber videos and it seemed like an interesting way to spend a few hours out of Tokyo without having to make overnight plans. It’s full of historic buildings and is known as “Little Edo”, the old name for Tokyo, because of this. It’s only about a 30 minute train trip to get there, which is the same as going half-way around Tokyo’s Yamanote Line.

Kawagoe signKawagoe express trainTobu Tojo line Kawagoe station platform


It was hot that day, even given the unusually warm weather that Japan was experiencing while we were there. We decided to have some shaved ice and it did not disappoint. Chris and I had strawberry, while Les tried the chocolate and orange.

shaved ice with strawberries and sauceChris with his strawberry shaved ice
Les and his chocolate orange shaved iceChris standing outside the cafe

Street Scene

We didn’t explore the whole area due to the heat, but the main street was bustling with tourists, mainly Japanese, shopping and sightseeing in kimono. The Edo period buildings are well-maintained and are a nice respite from the lights and sounds of Tokyo.

traditional japanese shops along the streetshops along the opposite side
a carriage puller waits for their next farecoin operated automaton wearing a traditional outfit

Les bought some fortunes to bring back home for people and I tried my first ramune soda in the old style bottle with the marble in the neck.

Two bins of fortune scrolls with some fortunes tied on the basesA bottle of ramune soda


We shopped, of course, and found a few nice gifts. The stores themselves were interesting in both their wares and the decor. I found something for myself at a great store called Alphalpha.

exterior of the shopstore interior with lanterns and a high ceiling with thin wooden beams exterior of the Alphalpha shoppaper Alphalpha shopping bag

A Nice Change

It was a great little day trip out of the city, even though we didn’t see everything. We got to sample some of the sights and tastes of Edo, and we can always go back again when the weather is a bit cooler. The valet tray I bought fits perfectly on my dresser too.

selfie of the three of usdark ceramic valet tray