Located only 30 minutes away from Central Tokyo by train, the historical city of Kawagoe is a major tourist attraction in the Greater Tokyo area. Widely known as Koedo, Kawagoe city has become a must-visit, especially for Japanese couples during the Hanami season. Being the old capital of modern-day Tokyo, the Kurazukuri Street with its Edo structures, the iconic Bell Tower (Toki no Kane), and the Taisho Roman Dori Street are testimonies of Koedo’s ancient prosperity.
Besides its ancient grandeur of the Edo period architecture, Kawagoe, known as the City of Sweet Potatoes, is renowned for its local cuisine, including traditional street food and rice confectionery and has been an ideal gathering spot for many food enthusiasts all over Japan. If you are looking for a place to go Sakura viewing this Spring season, with its historical vibes and delicious local dishes, then Kawagoe is the perfect destination for you!
The Best Kawagoe Street Food Snacks
Glazed Potato Snacks
Kawagoe offers a range of glazed sweet potato snacks deep-fried in canola oil and glazed with sugar and black sesame. Although it might taste similar to chips with its crispy texture, the inside is sweet and soft and tastes better when tried with red bean paste or apple pie. Located around 20 minutes walk from Honkawagoe or Kawagoeshi Station, Kawagoe Iwata is famous for its glazed potato sweets and fruit popsicles and is the best shop for your traditional potato snack journey.
Kawagoe Iwata (大学いも・川越いわた): 埼玉県川越市新富町１丁目８−17
Credits- Google Maps
Aside from the traditional Japanese confectionery, Kawagoe offers several Western puddings made from local milk, vanilla seeds, strawberry, and eggs. These puddings are customized according to the seasons with different flavors such as yuzu, sweet potatoes, strawberry jam, matcha, black beans, etc. Apart from vanilla puddings, you can taste different ice cream served in their original pudding flavor, including sweet potato and chocolate Mont Blanc flavor.
Kawagoe Purin (川越プリン): 埼玉県川越市幸町１−13
If you are a fan of traditional Japanese sweets, Kurazukuri monaka is a good way to experience the delicious rice flavor exquisite to Kawagoe. With its glutinous rice crust and different fillings, more than 3.5 million pieces of this dessert are sold annually, especially during the Hanami season. The fillings usually consist of red bean paste made out of azuki beans and mochi glutinous rice all the way from Saga.
Satsuma Imo Cafe (くらづくり本舗 一番街店): 埼玉県川越市幸町2−16
Sweet Potato Chips
Credits: Photo Ac
Crispy fried potato chips with their golden color and a pinch of salt will never fail to leave you craving for more! Widely known as Osatsu Chips, this is a specialty of Koedo and is served with a wide variety of sauces, including chocolate syrup, salted butter, vanilla cream, etc. The most popular are the chips sold by Koedo Osatsuan, a local stand near the Bell Tower, the landmark of Kawagoe city.
Koedo Osatsuan (小江戸おさつ庵): 埼玉県川越市幸町15−21
Tip: Check out the uniquely stunning Kawagoe Starbucks for a refresher after your snacks!
Neko Manma Yaki Onigiri
Credits: Photo Ac
Apart from confectionery, Kawagoe holds a name for its seafood merchandise, with Nakaichi Honten being the pioneer of dried seafood snacks. When tried with soy sauce, the freshly chargrilled triangular onigiri sprinkled with bonito or sardine flakes will make you crave for another bite. Their seasonal specials include bonito bars, kelp, dried eels, etc. Over the years, this onigiri has become a must-try amongst all the tourists and locals visiting Kawagoe, and you can see long queues lined up outside the shop every morning just for a freshly grilled bonito onigiri.
Nakaichi Honten (かつおぶし中市本店): 埼玉県川越市幸町５−2
Although known as the “City of Sweet Potatoes,” Kawagoe is also renowned for its eel rice, and many tourists and food enthusiasts come all over the city to taste these eel delicacies. If you are not in the mood to try a big plate of eel rice but still want to try the snack, eel skewers are the best option for you! Chargrilled eel skewers and eel liver skewers, grilled until the exterior turns golden and crispy are the most popular among the locals. Not only that, their recently introduced salt grilled sweet fish and grilled dumplings with eel fillings have become the seasonal favorite of many people visiting Kawagoe this Sakura season.
Kushiyaki Rinrinya (りんりん屋): 埼玉県川越市仲町２−2
Credits: Google Maps
The handmade wheat gluten bread snack coated with Okinawa black sugar, with its crispy and soft texture and simple sweet taste, guarantees you a memorable taste for a lifetime. Matsuriku Seika, the shop that produces these bread snacks and saiku ame (candy sculptures), is mostly famous for its fu snack, which is considered the longest snack in Japan. It is 95 centimeters long and has been the favorite childhood snack of many Japanese.
Matsuriku Seika (松陸製菓): 埼玉県川越市元町２丁目１１−6
Travel to Kawagoe to Try These Street Food Snacks
Have you ever tried any of these snacks? And what were your favorites? Let us know in the comment section!
Make sure you visit Kawagoe’s beautiful Starbucks to compliment all these snacks:
For second-hand clothes shops in Kawagoe: