[TOKYO] Kawagoe – A day trip back to the Edo Period

collage Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop
Dear Food Diary:
Kawagoe is only about 30 minutes away from central Tokyo. The train ride and loop bus, seemed like a time machine that took us back to the Edo Period.

A quaint little old town filled with shrines. Where old architecture charmed us tile by tile. And old time shop keepers sold traditional sweets from their childhood. Unique snacks, souvenirs and even somewhere to make a kimono. Stalkerboy and I had a fun filled day outside the city.

Kawagoe - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop
The hop on and off loop bus was about $5. A map of the route could be found before boarding. Here’s the full direction.

 

Our first stop was T2

Kawagoe Day Trip 3 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2
We found this little sweets shop with really good sweet potato filled old fashioned pastry.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2 sweets shop 3
The brown sugar exterior was so crisp and delicate with a softer inside. As it got closer to the filling, it got more moist. Not overly sweet but so flavorful. Unfortunately, they have a short shelf life, as with many Japanese sweets made without preservatives, which is a good thing. We had a couple each with some cold tea. Wish I could of brought a whole box back.

 

Kawagoe Day Trip 2 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2
Scorching heat, we walked around the semi empty shrines around this stop.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2

Kawagoe Day Trip 4 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2

Kawagoe Day Trip 6 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2

Kawagoe Day Trip 7 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2

Kawagoe Day Trip 5 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T2

 

 

Our next stop was T11, T12, T13

Kawagoe Day Trip 2 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13
This area is part residential and part commercial.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13

Kawagoe Day Trip 3 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13
As we got closer to the main shopping area, we felt like time was stopped long ago and we stepped in… Rickshaws and all…

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - old sweets shop
Most of the shops had an older generation attending… the sweets filled with beans, purple yam and sweet potato.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - signs
I loved the different signs in all sorts of typefaces and unique hand drawings.

Kawagoe Day Trip 3 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - honey shop
I bought some amazing yuzu honey at the honey shop. There was a rainbow of sweet liquid gold in all sorts of floral and fruity flavors.

Kawagoe Day Trip 4 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13

Getting lost and exploring was part of the charm.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - back streets and alleys
The stone streets have so much character.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - unagi eel rice
In the Edo Period, pork and beef were prohibited, so eel was a protein substitute. We heard unagi (eel)  is a Kawagoe specialty, so we stopped at a local corner restaurant for a late lunch. The unagi was tender, sweet and chard. The clear soup had some eel innards, which was bitter. The meal was good but nothing I can’t get in Tokyo. I would of preferred saving my appetite for all the snacks instead.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - eel bone snack
They even sold fried eel bone as snacks. Which reminded me of our special dinner at EN Brasserie in NYC.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - old buildings and streets

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - pulled sugar animals

After lunch we wandered onto the candy street, where a local sugar artist made a beautiful swan right in front of our eyes. This took me back to my own childhood, where the old uncle around my house would make sugar characters from Monkey Journey to the West.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - snacks and pickles
From sweets to pickles and veggie chips, there was so much to sample and buy!

Kawagoe Day Trip 6 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - retro toys and astroboy
I grew up with Astro Boy! I had a pair of green rain boots with him on both side. This was such a cute retro shop.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - purple yam soft serve
Purple yam and sweet potato soft serve.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - quaint edo period town

Kawagoe - steamed purple sweet potato bun - old lady shop
These were freshly coming out of the bamboo steamer and as stuffed as I was, I just couldn’t resist the temptation. Handmade purple yam filling with a really thin layer of bao on the outside.

Kawagoe - steamed purple sweet potato bun
Fluffy and melted in my mouth. Naturally sweet, steaming kept all the natural flavors. Really really pure and outstanding. Again, I wish I could bring a few home, but it just wouldn’t have been the same.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - shrine 2

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - temple

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - chopstick holder
Tons of souvenirs to take home. The array of chopstick holders were very impressive. Kawaii!

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - bento candy
And bento candy. Too cute to eat?

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - bento candy 2

Kawagoe Day Trip 2 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - quaint edo period town
I loved seeing the roofs, signs and different windows.

Kawagoe Day Trip - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - japanese door
Beautiful entrance.

Kawagoe Day Trip 2 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - edo tower
The tower has been around for centuries.

Kawagoe Day Trip 3 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - quaint edo period town
Definitely looks very Chinese to me…

Kawagoe Day Trip 5 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - quaint edo period town

Kawagoe Day Trip 4 - Tobu Koedo Bus Loop - Stop T11 T12 T13 - quaint edo period town
Our day trip in the time machine ended with a full tummy and a walk down a Japanese memory lane.

Highly recommended it if you have a free day while visiting Tokyo.

FULL DIRECTIONS and details.