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Last weekend, Kenji and I took a short day trip to Kawagoe in Saitama, and it turned out to be perfect! It was supposed to rain, but the day turned out beautiful, and our timing was perfect. We were able to see everything we wanted to in Kawagoe for the day, and have a great time!

We woke up a little later than planned, but it turned out to be good timing as we arrived and parked in Kawagoe a little before lunch. We found tourist information and parked at the Kawagoe train station, and walked to the main tourist parts of town and found a cute little Tempura place for a yummy lunch. One thing I always will miss whenever I’m not in Japan is the amazing tempura! I love it so much!

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Walking toward the town center, we saw this signpost outside the station. We think Salem is probably Kawagoe’s sister city, but why is Obama-shi listed?

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One of the highlights of Kawagoe is that they still have a few traditional Japanese storehouses standing, and many, like this one, were being used as a shop.

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The old clock tower was the highlight. It had been rebuilt 4 or 5 times after fires, the most recent one being a few hundred years old. We got there right after the noon bell was rung, so we went back at 3 o’clock to hear it. It sounded just like the bell from our own temple across the street from our apartment!

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Highlights include shopping… I bought a pretty new umbrella since I can’t find mine, and we both got Kawagoe sake. I also got some other sweets.

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Narrow alley’s beyond the main street lead to a traditional feeling “Sweet Street”, with candy and food vendors vying for customers. Just the place to have a cold ramune drink!

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We stopped to rest at a little table and chair set under the bridge, then headed back in time to hear the bell.

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While Kenji rested, I peaked into the Festival Museum, which has two dashi on display from the Kawagoe festival. I really like the dashi style in this area!

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We also visited another museum highlighting the history and construction of the storehouses. These things are several feet thick, and built to withstand the frequent fires that occurred.

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Traditional tatami rooms and SUPER thick doors and windows!

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Finally, as we were leaving I spotted a temple to visit. A great end to a perfect day!

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