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. We enjoyed the latter at the famous Kitain temple in Kawagoe, yesterday. Each year the Sakura Matsuri is held in Kitain Temple around the end of March to early April.
The kids had some festival food.
After walking around the various buildings and areas within the temple grounds they enjoyed the small, but colorful playground.
I was captivated by the cherry blossoms. I would have loved to attempt taking some artistic shots, but with 4 kids in tow that was not a possibility.
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 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:
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.
KITAIN TEMPLE OFFICIAL SITES
In English: http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/english/
In Japanese: http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/
Other seasonal information about Kitain
Autumn Leaves at Kitain Temple:
New Year’s Special Event every year on January 3rd: