Instead of Tokyo, hop a train to Kawagoe to experience a mix of historic, contemporary

A visitor moves through a garden of 540 stone statues of Buddha's disciples at the Kitain temple in Kawagoe, Japan, on May 18, 2019. JOSEPH DITZLER/STARS AND STRIPES
A visitor moves through a garden of 540 stone statues of Buddha's disciples at the Kitain temple in Kawagoe, Japan, on May 18, 2019. JOSEPH DITZLER/STARS AND STRIPES

Instead of Tokyo, hop a train to Kawagoe to experience a mix of historic, contemporary

by Joseph Ditzler
Stars and Stripes

An excursion by rail to Kawagoe in Saitama prefecture opens a window to a bygone era in Japan.

Sometimes called “Little Edo,” a reference to Tokyo’s former identity, the city encompasses a busy commercial district and a Buddhist temple of historic and cultural significance. If, like me, you’re relatively new to Japan, Kawagoe is a nice weekend-day-trip alternative to the bustle of center city Tokyo.

Kawagoe is about an hour’s drive from Yokota Air Base and an hour and 15 minutes by train from Higashi-Fussa Station, the closest to the base, via the Hachiko line. The rail line crosses a diverse landscape, including the air base and the familiar, tight architecture of suburban Tokyo, but also past rice paddies, through a forest and over a bridge across the wide Iruma River bed.

The Hachiko line drops passengers at the Kawagoe Station, the busiest of three stations in the city. The others are Hon Kawagoe and Kawagoe-shi. Check your favorite trip planner (Google Maps works for me) to find the best route and times.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.584937

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content