Cherry Blossoms on Shingashi River | Kawagoe

http://www.kawagoehikawa.jp/




Kawagoe is just 31 minutes from Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on the Tobu Tojo line (jump to access from Tokyo).  It is a popular tourist town. One of Kawagoe’s most spectacular spots to enjoy “sakura” is out the back of Hikawa shrine, where the cherry blossoms line the Shingashi River. Until recent years it was mainly locals and off-the-beaten-track tourists who enjoyed its splendour, but nowadays the cherry blossom attract thousands of admirers. One of the reasons is you can get a photo of a paddle boat being steered down the river under the blossoms, by a man in a festival happi coat and a traditional sugegasa hat. The image above is an official photo from Hikawa Shrine’s Facebook page.

Currently, the boat ride isn’t accessible to the general public, but on April 2nd 2016 it will be from noon until 6pm (2017 the date is rumoured to be March 29th, was set for April 2nd and then changed to MARCH 26TH). Tickets will be distributed, subject to availability, from in front of the Kita Kominkan on the far side of the bridge to the Hikawa shrine back entrance.  They are marked on a map I made below the access map.

Here are some photos of the sakura I took on March 30th 2016.

And earlier in the week
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Information

Hikawa Shrine

Address:2-11-3 Miyashitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0052
URL: http://kawagoehikawa.jp

Access from Kawagoe Station

Koedo Kawagoe bus one day pass allows you unlimited travel on the Koedo Kawagoe buses. It costs 300 yen. In the bus they have a monitor with sightseeing information.  Some tourist places give discounts on souvenirs or entrance tickets to people with a one day pass.
Koedo Kawagoe Loop BusKoedo Meguri (Loop) Bus from Kawagoe station. You can buy a one day pass that allows you unlimited travel on the Meguri Bus. It stops at 16 different locations. 104 different shops, offer discount services such as souvenirs, food, and entrance fees to facilities for holders of this day pass. There are announcements in English and Chinese as well as Japanese so foreigners can feel at ease. More information here:
http://www.new-wing.co.jp/koedo/index_e.html

Shingashi River and the free parking area:

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Kawagoe Access by train from Tokyo and Omiya

  • 31 minutes from Ikebukuro on a express train on the Tobu Tojo Line. 470 yen
  • 44 minutes from Seibu Shinjuku on a Red Arrow Limited Express. 420 yen for the express ticket, plus base fare.
  • 66 minutes from Shinjuku or 62 minutes from Takadanobaba on Seibu Shinjuku Line.  You can buy one round trip ticket for 700 yen for either of those stations.
  • 54 minutes from JR Shinjuku on a rapid train of the Saikyo/Kawagoe line. 760 yen.
  • 28 minutes on a regular train from Omiya on the Saikyo/Kawagoe Line or 22 minutes on the rapid train.
  • The Fukutoshin and Yurakucho subways connect to the Tobu Tojo line at Wako-shi. Some of them go all the way to Kawagoe (and beyond) too.

Access by Car

About 21 kilometres from Nerima to Kawagoe using the Kanetsu Expressway. The toll for the expressway is about 840 yen.

About 40 kilometres from Hinode using the Ken-o highway. The toll is about 1400 yen.

More on Hikawa Shrine on this blog:

Other points of interest in Kawagoe

Free Shoyu Factory Tour & Cafe Kura at Matsumoto Soy Sauce | KAWAGOE

Where in Kawagoe to bring a visiting famous Japanese food chef and author?  This is the question that faced me when I was bringing Fiona Uyema, Ireland’s leading Japanese food expert and owne…

Source: insaitama.com/free-shoyu-factory-tour-cafe-kura-at-matsumoto-soy-sauce-kawagoe/

Other Cherry Blossoms in Kawagoe

Cherry blossom festival at Kitain Temple

There are two main ways you can celebrate the blooming of cherry  blossoms in Japan; hanami, which involves picnicking under a cherry tree, or a Sakura matsuri, literally cherry blossom festival.  …

Source: insaitama.com/cherry-blossom-festival-at-kitain-temple/

Cherry Blossoms at Isanuma Park | Kawagoe

Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami for locals. There are cherry blossoms along the river at the playground as well as cherry blossoms lining the street that separates the lak…

Source: insaitama.com/cherry-blossoms-at-isanuma-park-kawagoe/

 

Yakyu Inari Shrine, the Baseball Shrine| Higashimatsuyama

Yakyu Inari Shrine is located in Higashimatsuyama, Saitama, just 1 hour and 10 minutes from Ikebukuro on the Tobu Tojo line.  It is one of many shrines to the God Inari. However, what makes it special is that its Chinese characters (“Yakyu” 箭弓) are pronounced the same as the Japanese for baseball (野球).  It has thus come to be known as the baseball shrine.

Photos from the official website:

Lots of baseball fans visit the shrine to pick up a baseball shaped amulet or write on a baseball prayer plaque (Ema 絵馬) to bring good favour to their own skills or to a baseball team they support. Even famous baseball players visit the shrine to pray for a good season. Another reason Japanese tourists visit Yakyu Shrine is to see the pine trees and in the spring to see the peony, azalia and wisteria that bloom around mid April. You can read more about the shrine and flowers in English in this tourist leaflet from Higashimatsuyama city: http://www.higashimatsuyama-kanko.com/SP_EN.pdf

Shrine in photos (access and general information below this gallery).

INFORMATION

Open all year round.

TEL: 0493-22-2104

URL: (Japanese only) http://www.yakyu-inari.jp/index.html

ACCESS: 5 minute walk from the west exit of Higashimatsuyama. Parking for 50 cars.

On Google maps:

Unique Mommy and Baby cafe | Hoppe, Kawagoe

Today’s adventure brought us to the newest “Oyaka” (Parent and child) cafe, HOPPE, in Kawagoe, which only opened last year (2015). In essence it is really a Mother and baby / toddler cafe and it is the only one of its kind that I have ever visited. It is like being in a friend’s living room… an immaculate modern living room with waiting staff and endless supplies of tea and soft drinks! In fact, the cafe is actually a converted apartment in a regular apartment block.

The front door is locked so you can’t just walk in, you need to be buzzed in.  It requires booking and it is only for women (except Sundays) and children up to three years old in the morning. In the afternoon older children are welcome with children up to 6 free up until the end of March. From April 1st the system is changing slightly and only children under 3 are free. You can book and pay for an hour or two or a whole day. (Please check the website linked for up-to-date prices). If you book for 2 hours you get “service”, as they call it in Japan, of very fresh and delicious bread. If you book for a whole day, you can come and go as you please. They have lunch, desserts and snacks that you can purchase too and it is very reasonably priced. Pasta lunch was only 350 yen. You can use electronic foot massages for free and they have magazines and mangas that you can read while there.  For the kids they have lovely wooden toys, a slide and swing for baby. They have bumbo and wooden chairs for the kids to sit in for eating, and a nursing area and a changing area. You can buy baby food.

It is a wonderful space for Moms with babies and toddlers. My 1 year old absolutely loved it. She normally takes a while to warm to a new place, but today she felt very comfortable very quickly and was soon enjoying the toys and equipment. One of the staff entertained her for a while so us adults could chat. I really enjoyed the space too and I love the concept behind it. If you read Japanese, you can find lots of great information, and even a discount, on the cafe’s blog: http://hoppe.babymilk.jp/wordpress/

**I have no affiliation to this company

【店内で楽しく記念撮影会!】 【店内ではシーズン毎に楽しいウォールアートをご用意】モーニング娘OG 石黒彩さんもご来店くださいました。こんな記念撮影も当店ならでは! 【お席はフリー 赤ちゃんの気の向くままどうぞ】 【一組様でもゆったり楽しめ

Source: 店内写真 |

Cherry Blossoms at Isanuma Park | Kawagoe

Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami for locals. There are cherry blossoms along the river at the playground as well as cherry blossoms lining the street that separates the lake from the park. We have enjoyed hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom) along the river under the beautiful blooms. End of March and the first week of April is usually a good time to see the cherry blossoms and enjoy hanami in this park in Kawagoe.

 

Information

Address: 584 Numata, Isanuma, Kawagoe 〒350-0855 埼玉県川越市 大字伊佐沼字沼田町584

TEL: +81 49-222-1301

URL: http://www.city.kawagoe.saitama.jp/kurashi/sports_koen/koen/isanuma.html

 

Related articles on this blog:

ISANUMA PARK

KAWAGOE CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Saving Tip Saitama | Moteco FREE magazine with coupons, features, food…

MOTECO (8)

There are a number of free magazines in Saitama and most have a coupon or two, but MOTECO is one of the best with lots of great coupons as well as information. As they say themselves; “The book is full of coupon n jobs”.  There are literally dozens of pages of coupons divided by categories such as “gourmet”, “car life”, “beauty” and more. The magazine is in Japanese only, but with many pictures and URLs it may still be useful to non-Japanese speakers.

MOTECO (5)

The magazine is printed by region, so the coupons are relevant to that particular region. My local MOTECO is for the Kawagoe – Tokorozawa area, which includes Sakado and Higashi-matsuyama. The coupons are usually limited to the month of the issue, but there is an issue every month and often the coupons are repeated.  Most of the coupons are limited to the area for restaurants, beauticians, hairdressers, car services and other services and attractions in that general area. Even chain stores coupons are specific to the area, such as the current Subway coupons that stipulate only for use in Kawagoe and Wakaba branches.  Each month, they have a monthly half price feature for a specific restaurant or service.

As well as great coupons, they also have monthly features with information on events, news, cinema, leisure, weddings, restaurants and food.  The latter usually includes some seasonal recipes. This month’s leisure feature is a selection of places to enjoy “Ohanami”, cherry blossom viewing, in Saitama.

Feature on Cherry Blossoms in Moteco Free Magazine
Feature on Cherry Blossoms in Moteco Free Magazine

 

You can pick up your FREE copy of MOTECO in most Tsutaya and Welcia branches as well as some train stations and malls.  Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to this company in anyway!