Tokyo Days 23 - Kawagoe (Part 1)

The weekends are upon us and with extra time at hand, I decided to pay a visit to the outskirts of Tokyo. Located 30-40 minutes outside the center of Tokyo, Kawagoe is a quaint little town known for its myriad of shrines and a look at what old-Japan might have been. One of the most popular attractions of Kawagoe is the Merchant Street which happened to be my first destination for the day.

Merchant street was filled on both sides with shops both new and old. One of the first I came across was this retro toy store selling both old and new toys. While the prices may not be the cheapest, it was still a pretty awesome sight.

Birds once sat here for too long and turned into steel. That is not true.

A corner store selling various stained glass merchandise, very cool!

Ever so often there are signs pointing towards Kawagoe's tourist attractions.

Speaking of old stores, there was even an old watch shop too. The owner went out for a bit so, I did not enter.

Not all stores survive though as this Animate did not. Looks like the anime/manga market is not too big outside the city.

Your typical intersection lamp post.

This building has clearly seen better days.

Here is a look at one of the few Edo-period styled building Kawagoe is known for.

Even Hello Kitty makes an appearance!

Despite looking old and dilapidated, these buildings are actually in very good condition.

As it should be, seeing how it is a tourist attraction.

The street itself is not wide at all, only spanning two lanes for vehicles and slightly less than a five foot walk for pedestrians. Likely a vestige of the pass carried till today.

One of the promoted attractions is Kawagoe's Matsuri (Festival) Museum.

Wander off the path a little and you will spot really cool old things like this, now retired, beer vending machine.

I even wandered off far enough to reach the river running nearby.

Finally managing to get back on track, I arrived at my second destination , the Penny Candy Alley.

This alley was even smaller than Merchant's Road and sold a large variety of Japanese sweets and confectionery. Unfortunately, many of them are overpriced to capitalize on the visitors.

A little further down and I spotted several uniquely designed drink glasses. It is a pity they were too expensive.

This extension of price holds true even for Merchant's Street where things are often priced equal or more than they are in Tokyo's city center.

Fortunately, vending machine prices were not inflated and I found this bottle of White Peach Fanta. A first for me, the beverage was so fruity and bubbly, it reminded me why Fanta still remains to be my favorite soft drink.

While I waited for the bus to move on to my next destination, I spotted this rather unique vehicle. I am not sure what it is called aside from the Midget name written on the front. With that, comes an end to the first part of my Kawagoe experience. The second part will be in tomorrow and I hope you will be looking forward to that. In the meantime, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful weekend ahead!


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