Oakhouse Kawagoe Minami-Furuya [Oak Explorers]

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OAKHOUSE KAWAGOE MINAMI-FURUYA

Oak Explorers

Oak Explorers: Kawagoe

Oak Explorers: Kawagoe

The Little Edo of Kawagoe has lots to see, and eat!
Oakhouse Kawagoe Minami Furuya opened in November 2017.
The closest station is Minami-Furuya on JR Kawagoe line. One station away at Kawagoe station, you can find the area known as Little Edo. On this excursion, Oakhouse managers and Info Center staff took a look around this historic area!

Getting in some insta photos in Little Edo!

Ferris wheel on the roof
First we took a 10-minute walk to the Maruhiro department store. However, our goal was not shopping: it was to the amusement center on the roof! In the past, many Japanese department stores had these children's play areas on their roofs, but there aren't that many anymore these days. In fact the only two with ferris wheels are this one and the one in Kamata. From the top, you can see all of the Kawagoe town, and on a clear day you can see the Chichibu mountains, and maybe even Mt. Fuji. We had fun playing like children. :)

Rare rooftop ferris wheel

See Mt. Fuji on a clear day

Fun ride

Bigger than we imagined!

DATA 〒350-0043 Shintomicho 2-6-1 Kawagoe city, Saitama
Maruhiro Department store 7F
WEB http://www.namco.co.jp/game_center/loc/maruhiro/

Visiting the Kawagoe shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine
Next, we headed to Kawagoe Hikawa shrine. It was established 1,500 years ago!! Ever since it has been the home of the guardian kami of the area. The theme of the kami enshrined here is "bonds": here is where people go to get blessings for their families, loved ones, and more. They also have popular and unique fortunes.

Splendid torii gate

Designated important cultural property

Greeting the Kawagoe kami

Unique fish fortunes!

"Little Edo": the symbol of the city

Bell of Time
After Hikawa Shrine, we headed into Kawagoe town proper, where we saw a watchtower. This is the symbol of Kawagoe, the "bell of time". It was built 400 years ago, and marks the time for the people of Kawagoe ever since. The wooden housing has been lost to fire a few times, and this is the 4th iteration. Now it is rung by machines instead of humans, but it rings at 6 AM, noon, 3PM, and 6PM. It must be a wonderful familiar sound.

DATA 〒350-0063 Saitama, Kawagoe city, Saiwaicho 15-7
WEB http://www.koedo.or.jp/miru-asobu/99/

The town of Little Edo

The Bell of Time

Rickshaw

Find your inner child

Candy Alley
Passing the bell tower, we headed to the famous candy alley. The area has 20 candy shops in 1 block, going back to the Meiji era. It was fun watching the children get excited over what candy they will pick. Our Japanese staff reminisced about their own time in similar places on field trips.

DATA 〒350-0062 Motomachi Kawagoe city Saitama 2-7
WEB http://www.koedo.or.jp/miru-asobu/115/

Candy shops lining the stone street

Beautiful colors

Great atmosphere

Top-class gourmet!

Ogakiku
We were hungry by now, so we decided to close out the exploration with the best food we could find in Saitama, and we found it at Ogakiku. Established in 1807, this shop has been wowing people ever since with their secret sauce. The current building was built in the Taisho period, a rare 3-floor wooden building. We enjoyed the architecture of course but also the delicious unagi eel dishes.

DATA 〒350-0065 Nakamachi Kawagoe city Saitama 3-22
WEB http://www.ogakiku.com/

3-floor wooden building

Unagi eel and secret sauce!

Can't help but smile when we took off the lids!

Editor's notes

The charm of Kawagoe
The Oak Explorers walked around Kawagoe all day, and discovered a relaxing and old-style town, making us feel nostalgic for a time we weren't even alive for. As for living here, you'd be just 30 minutes from Ikebukuro from Kawagoe station, perfect for a commute. Work in the city, come back here... perfect. Plus Little Edo is right next door. We hope you find it as charming as we did!

The sweet potatoes are also popular!