Day three of the Tokyo leg of our trip, we decided to visit the city of Kawagoe (川越市), particularly its Warehouse District area. We took the train from Shibuya Station to Ikebukuro Station (JR East Yamanote Line), then got on the Tobu Tojo Line and rode the express train to Kawagoe. The train takes you out towards Greater Tokyo, away from the busier commercial districts. It passes many interesting residential areas and it is definitely refreshing to get away from the skyscrapers and the buzzing crowds of the city.
Upon getting out of Kawagoe Station, locate Crea Mall, a long street crammed full of every kind of shop you can imagine, from florists to ramen bars to large gaming arcades. Keep walking along the mega long shopping alley and you will eventually arrive at a main street lined with charming kurazukuri – old clay-walled, warehouse-style buildings from the Edo Period (1603-1867). The kurazukuri in Kawagoe are exceptionally stunning.
There are many interesting sights around the Warehouse District, including an old bell tower – The Bell of Time (時の鐘 Toki no Kane) – and Confectionery Row (菓子屋横丁 Kashiya Yokochō), also known as “Candy Lane”, a small backstreet alley lined with stores selling old-fashioned sweets and snacks. James and I purchased some sugar-coated peanuts (grape flavoured) and I bought myself a bracelet strung with polished garnet stones from a beautiful jewellery store.
We had dinner at a fantastic ramen place on our way back. Mitsuya Do-Seimen (三ツ矢堂製麺) has the fattiest melt-in-your-mouth char siu and the thickest ramen broth ever. Amazing flavour. And their gyoza dumplings are incredibly plump and juicy. Great food to warm you up after a long, cold day.