Hidden in Saitama Prefecture, Kawagoe, also known as Little Edo, still retains the atmosphere of ancient Japan during the Edo period. If you wish to escape from the bustling city of Tokyo, this Kawagoe private tour will not disappoint you. In this small peaceful town, there are many traditional Japanese shrines, temples and other amazing attractions, such as Kawagoe castle and the old warehouse district of Kurazukuri. Take a day trip outside of Tokyo and discover the historic Kawagoe.
At your hotel
I will pick you up at your hotel near the reception.
Take a train from Ikebukuro station to Kawagoe station and take a local bus there.
Nakain Temple; Enjoy strolling around this small, peaceful temple and be impressed with the spectacular architecture and traditional Japanese garden. Founded in 830 AD, by a Buddhist priest Jikaku Daishi, the temple relatively resembles those in Kyoto. In Spring, all the flowers, including Sakura will bloom together.
Kitain Temple; One of the most famous Buddhist temples in Kawagoe, attracting both locals and foreigners to visit. The over 500 mysterious Buddhist pupil statues, called Gohyaku Rakan, make this temple more amazing. Most of the buildings in this temple are part of the former Edo Castle, which is worth visiting. (Admission: 400 JPY per adult)
Lunch; Please try Japanese noodles with crunchy tempura or BBQ eel, which are the most famous dishes of Kawagoe.
Kawagoe Castle; We will visit the spectacular Kawagoe Castle, which used to be a residence of Tokugawa’s allies, and witness amazing cultural estates, such as the tranquil traditional Japanese garden, tatami rooms, and paintings. (Closed on Mondays, Admission: 100 JPY per adult)
Hikawa Shrine; Enjoy walking around this lovely shrine with its relaxing atmosphere. This shrine is very famous for love and relationships. One of the highlights is that the shrine houses the largest wooden Torii gate in Japan, which was moved from the Meiji Shrine. (Admission free)
Kurazukuri Street and Kashiya Yokocho; No visit to Kawagoe is complete without walking through this historic pedestrian street. In the Edo era, this street was the center of trade, thus there were many warehouses. Now, they became restaurants and souvenir shops. Visitors also can find rare Japanese sweets and desserts in Kashiya Yokocho Alley.
End of the tour
At your hotel
Travel back in time to the Edo era and witness the great and amazing historical and cultural legacies of ancient Japan. On this Kawagoe private tour, Yuki, our well-experienced tour guide, will take you to the must-visit places in Kawagoe city. With his knowledge about Japanese history, you will absolutely enjoy this Kawagoe tour.
In the morning, he will take you to Nakain Temple by the Koedo Loop Bus and then walk to Kitain Temple. By visiting these two temples, you can see the spectacular Japanese architecture and realize how much Buddhism really influenced Japan at that time. If you are coming on this tour in Spring, the area around the temples will be filled with blooming cherry blossoms and other kinds of beautiful flowers. After having lunch at a famous Soba restaurant, you will visit Kawagoe castle, where the feudal lords used to live in the Edo period. Here, you will be able to see a traditional Japanese garden and many different rooms inside the castle, including amazing paintings on the cedar doors and walls. Then you will visit Hikawa Shrine, a shrine for love and relationships. At the Hikawa Shrine, there are lots of activities to do, such as trying Japanese fortune-telling and making wishes by wooden prayer plates. To complete this Kawagoe tour perfectly, the tour guide will take you to Kurazukuri Street, where you can see the unique traditional architecture of the warehouses. Along this road, you will enjoy strolling around and visiting lots of local shops. Also located in the Kurazukuri area, you can walk to Kashiya Yokocho to find some traditional Japanese sweets and desserts.
Thus, this Kawagoe tour offers you a chance to learn more about these precious legacies during the Edo era, which you cannot find in Tokyo. Book this day trip today!
Tour guide fee and hotel pick-up service
On this Kawagoe private tour, the transportation fees, admission fee, and lunch costs of the visitor and tour guide are additional fees and as following:
- Transportation fee: approximately 2,000 yen per person
- Lunch: approximately 1,000-2,000 yen per person
- Admission fees: for Kitain temple, 400 yen for entering the special room in the former Edo Castle and for Kawagoe Castle, 100 yen.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has been closed to foreign travelers since March, 2020. This restriction has been eased since October 11th, 2022 but you still need to vaccinated three and more times or have a certificate of COVID-19 negative . Please ask me the availability of the tour before you book it. I was vaccinated four times with the Pfizer one.
Not available on Mondays.
- Kawagoe Castle, museums and some shops in Kurazukuri Street are closed on Monday.
- The tour guide is not available on Monday.
- Please, send a direct message to the tour guide for confirming the availability before booking
It is about 1500 JPY including the train from Tokyo and buses at Kawagoe
Most places are free to enter.
It is optional but the entrance fee of both special room in Edo castle and 500 statues of Rakan in Kitain temple is 400 JPY and that of Kawagoe castle is 100 JPY.
I just had one day in Tokyo and a tour with him was the ideal way to spend it! He has an abundance of knowledge about Japanese history and even brought an iPad with some supplemental documents and videos. I hope to have Yuki as a guide when I come back to Japan
Dear Dan, Thank you for taking time for writing the review of my Tokyo half day tour. We visited Meiji Shrine where we saw a wedding ceremony and have a ramen near the Imperial Palace. I liked the soup of the ramen that was very warm. Then walked around the east garden of the palace during the best time of a winter afternoon. I wondered you didn't wear any coat, but it was good you enjoyed walking. Please come again for the other places in Japan. Yuki
Yuki was an excellent, knowledgeable and versatile guide. Highly recommended. Thank you
Dear Nicolas, Thank you for writing the review of my tour. We visited most of must see places in Kyoto such as Fushimi Shrine, Sanjyusangen-do Temple, Goldentemple , Bamboo Forest, Tenryu-ji Temple and in addition, the pottery shop your son asked to visit, in a day trip from Tokyo. It was a busy tour but the speed of the Shinkansen and use of taxies when effective made this possible. Please visit Japan again with your wife who loves Japanese gardens! Yuki
Highly recommended. Very knowledgeable, friendly and punctual. Organised a great day in Tokyo the whole family really enjoyed.
Dear James, Thank you for taking time to write the review of my tour. You visited the Imperial Palace, experienced Ninja, and met Hedgehogs. The weather was perfect to welcome your family. Please give my best regards to your family and enjoy your stay in Japan. Yuki
Mr Yuki was very friendly and is very knowledgeable about Hakone. He was flexible on changing the tour depending on the time constraints. I would highly recommend him and his tours!
Dear Mario, Thank you for writing the review. we saw a great view if Mt.Fuji. Yuki