TOURS
Day Trip to Kawagoe : Experience the ‘Little Edo’ of Japan

Day Trip to Kawagoe : Experience the ‘Little Edo’ of Japan

Period

All Year Round

Time

09:00 - 16:45

Meeting Place

Inside Ikebukuro Train Station

Price

Adult ((13+))17,800 JPY
Child ((6 - 12))11,000JPY

Day Trip to Kawagoe : Experience the ‘Little Edo’ of Japan

Step out of Tokyo and step back in time to ’Little Edo’. A slice of old Japan filled with history, wonderful food and impressive architecture.

Kawagoe is fast becoming a popular day trip to do during your trip to Tokyo as it is often likened to a mini Kyoto. Based in Saitama prefecture yet only just over 30 minutes away from Tokyo from Ikebukuro station and 1 hour from Shinjuku/Shibuya stations, it is a great opportunity to venture out and see a different part of Japan but with the ease of still being close to the city! It is also the perfect stop off on your way to Nagano so you can make the most of your travel time in between destinations!

The tour will provide guests with a well balanced itinerary including museums, shopping, food and drink, shrines and temples, and iconic architecture. 

You will have the opportunity to learn all about Kawagoe’s past and significance in the ’Old Town’ and Castle remains, walk the streets lined with Kurazukuri clay warehouses and the famous Toki no Kane Bell Tower, shop for local crafts and delicious street food, and visit some beautiful and unique shrines and temples. This is the perfect opportunity to get out of Tokyo and experience a different side to Japan!

HIGHLIGHTS 

  • Walk in and around the last remaining buildings of Edo Castle in Japan!
  •  The opportunity to see beautifully preserved Kurazukuri architecture
  • Go ‘fishing’ for your fortune at a famous shrine!
  • Get out of Tokyo and visit Saitama prefecture, and see a different side to Japan!


DESCRIPTION

The tour will begin at 09:00am inside of Ikebukuro train station where you will meet your tour guide. You will meet outside of the Tobu line blue entrance ticket gates. Once everybody has arrived, you will officially start the tour and your tour guide will escort you to the first destination!

Your first destination will be one of Kawagoe’s most famous Buddhist temples. This temple is famous for its Pagoda, part of its main hall being constructed from buildings from the original Edo Castle in Tokyo, as well as its 540 Rakan statues. It is steeped in history and is a must when visiting Kawagoe! Enjoy a guided tour with your guide and some time to take photos and enjoy the grounds at your leisure.

Kawagoe

Your next destination will be a guided walk and tour of Kawagoe’s Old Town. Comprising of many famous landmarks, architecture, and beautiful side streets, this is the hub of Kawagoe. Your guide will take you back in time, painting the picture of what was once ’Little Edo’. You will pass the famous Kurazukuri warehouses, a culturally significant bell tower, visit an old sake brewery, and many interesting local shops and food stalls. You will have free time and your lunch break here to explore at your leisure, and it is highly recommended that you try the street food on offer! Kawagoe is famous for sweet potatoes, so make sure to try something sweet potato themed!

Kawagoe

Kawagoe

Your next destination will be one of Kawagoe’s most famous and beautiful shrines! Famous for its match making power, many people come here to pray for good fortune in love and their relationships. Your guide will give you a tour of the Shrine complex and tell you about its unique features and history! You will have the opportunity to fish for your fortune, walk through a beautiful ’Ema’ tunnel (wooden fortune plaques), and walk around 600 year old sacred trees that are said to bring you spiritual enlightenment! The tranquil Shingashi river is just behind the shrine where Koi Carp swim, and in Spring it is filled with Cherry Blossom!

Our final stop will be the remains of Kawagoe’s flatland castle. The structure and its rooms are beautifully preserved. You can walk the halls, step back in time and imagine what it was once like in the Edo period when the Shogun (Samurai) were in power. You can also collect a castle stamp as a free souvenir of your visit!

Kawagoe

Finally, before leaving Kawagoe, enjoy some free time to visit any remaining attractions, shop, take photos and pick up any final souvenirs before we meet back up to walk to Kawagoeshi train station. There is Kawagoe City Museum and Kawagoe Matsuri Museum which are great attractions to visit in addition to what is covered on the tour.

Kawagoe

ITINERARY

09:00Meet inside of Ikebukuro Train Station outside of the Tobu blue entrance ticket gate. The train ride to Kawagoe station will take approximately 36 minutes. We will then walk for 20 minutes to our first destination.
10:10Your first destination will be Kawagoe’s most famous Buddhist temple. Enjoy a guided tour of the temple complex with your guide.
11:10Walk for 15 minutes to your next destination, Kawagoe’s ‘Old Town’. This is the centre and hub of Kawagoe. You will have a guided tour of the ‘Old Town’ and its landmarks. You will then have your lunch break here to enjoy the many drinks and foods on offer!
13:30After lunch, you will meet back up with your tour guide and take a short walk to Kawagoe’s famous Shinto shrine known for its match making power and granting good fortune in relationships! Your guide will give you a tour of the Shinto shrine complex and you can enjoy time to take photos and explore.
14:15Your final destination will be the remains of Kawagoe’s flatland castle, just down the road from the Shinto shrine. Enjoy stepping back in time with your tour guide and see what life was like for the Samurai of Kawagoe.
15:00Walk back to Kawagoe Old town centre where you will have free time to explore, shop and take photos at your leisure before we leave Kawagoe. We will then walk to Kawagoeshi station for 20 minutes.
16:00We will get the train back to Ikebukuro station from Kawagoeshi station for approximately 36 minutes.
16:45The tour will then conclude at Ikebukuro station.

MEETUP POINT

Inside of Ikebukuro Station outside of the Tobu blue entrance gate @09:00am

The tour will begin at 9am inside of Ikebukuro train station outside of the Tobu blue entrance gate where you will meet your tour guide. Once you arrive at Ikebukuro station, follow the signs for the Tobu Line (You will see the Tobu Line symbol on the signs as ‘TJ’ with a blue square around it). Go down the stairs from the platform and keep following the signs with ’TJ’ Tobu Line and for ’Central Gate 1’. You will pass a restaurant on your left called ’Tantan’ and a Uniqlo on the right, keep walking until you see green ticket gates on your left for JR. Exit through these green ticket gates and directly in front of you will be the blue ’Tobu’ entrance gate. You will meet your tour guide next to the blue gate under the arrow sign pictured below.

You can reach Ikebukuro station from Shinjuku and Shibuya by using the green ’Yamanote’ line which will take you to Ikebukuro with no changes needed. From Tokyo, you can reach Ikebukuro using the red ’Marunouchi’ line which will also take you to Ikebukuro with no changes needed.

Ikebukuro

NOTES

Included

  • Admission fees for Kitain Temple and Honmaru Castle remains
  • Local English speaking guide 

Excluded

  • Trains and transport before and after the tour
  • Food and drink

OTHER INFORMATION

  • This tour involves several hours of walking in the outdoors. We recommend that you wear shoes and clothes which are easy to walk in. Please check the weather forecast before you head to the meetup point and prepare an umbrella or rain coat if necessary.
  • Please note that the majority of Museums and attractions are closed on Mondays, therefore this tour is only available for bookings from Tuesday – Sunday.
  • If you’re travelling from Tokyo, it takes between 30 minutes (if you’re travelling from Ikebukuro station) to 1 hour (if you’re travelling from Tokyo, Shinjuku or Shibuya stations) to reach Kawagoeshi station. Please make sure to factor in your travel time before and after the tour.
  • This tour is designed as a day trip from Tokyo, but if you wish to book this tour for a group charter package travelling onto Nagano after the tour please contact us and we can accommodate your request.
  • There will be free time during the ’Old Town’ portion of the tour and the lunch break/free time for guests to enjoy the locations at their own pace. However, please make sure that you are at the respective meetup points at the time stated by your guide on the day of the tour. If you get lost or need assistance, feel free to call the number which is listed on your tour pass, and our staff will assist you immediately.
  • Due to this being a walking tour, it is advised that you do not bring any luggage or large bags with you on the tour. It is advised that you check if your hotel can store your luggage for you until after the tour, or you store your luggage at lockers at a suitable location such as selected train stations with appropriate storage. For example, many stations in Tokyo will have lockers, especially the larger train stations such as Ikebukuro, Ueno, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Tokyo. Kawagoeshi also has coin lockers for luggage if needed.

FAQs

What should I bring/wear?
Please wear clothing appropriate for the season in which you are taking the tour, and check the weather forecast ahead of time. Guests may wish to bring rain coats or umbrellas on rainy days, or sunscreen to avoid sunburn during the summer months. June through to early September is very hot and humid in Tokyo, so please bare this in mind. Stay hydrated and wear sun hats. You can buy items designed to cool you down in Summer from shops in Tokyo such as portable fans and ice packs. In the winter months, gloves, boots, warm hats, and hand warmers are recommended. Please feel free to bring any other items, such as water or snacks.
Is lunch included on the tour?
No. This tour does not include lunch however there will be opportunities to purchase food and drinks during the tour. If you prefer to, please also feel free to bring snacks and drinks with you.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible/appropriate for guests with limited mobility?
The nature of this tour means it is not wheelchair accessible and may not be appropriate for guests with limited mobility, given the amount of walking involved. Should this be of concern, contact us prior to booking to discuss options.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara