Tag Archives: cafes in kawagoe

Sakura Festival at Isanuma Park | KAWAGOE

Cherry blossoms at Isanuma Park

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

 

 

Must visit shop and foot spa cafe “Tsubaki No Kura” | KAWAGOE




Tsubaki no Kura is a Kura Dai-kukan (Traditional Japanese storehouse space) that has been transformed into a shop that sells Japanese condiments, souvenirs, textiles, sake, Power stones, shrine goods and has a FOOT SPA CAFE and displays art. It is one of my personal favourite spots in Kawagoe and always a stop off when I am bringing people on guided tours of the area.   I also like to stop into the cafe, detailed below the shop guide, even when I am on my own to bathe my feet as I enjoy a quiet drink.

This storehouse has one of the tallest heights of the Japanese warehouses in Kawagoe at nine meters high. You feel the impact as you enter the store where the front section is the original storehouse height. To add to the majesty there is some beautiful traditional Japanese art from Mr. Eiki Kimura on display in this front lobby area and you can see the red torii on the renovated second floor behind. Tsubaki no Kura is home to three unique stores and the reception for the outdoor foot spa cafe and zen garden.

Kura the Japanese for the traditional type Japanese warehouses. The tourist area of Kawagoe is famous for the amount of ancient warehouses they have. This particular warehouse is named after camellia “Tsubaki“.  It is a really unique, colourful and fun space to explore. The art, the indoor torii as well as a shinto tree add to the ambiance and colour.  There is such a mix of products and over hundred different types of souvenirs that you could easily spend a couple of hours exploring all the shop has to offer.

Tsubaki No Kura Shops

①Kaya sells a number of different type of modern Japanese souvenirs made from traditional Japanese textiles. The large textile banners you see in the shop with classic depictions of Japanese art by modern methods, are made by Kaya. They sell wash cloths, clothes, tapestry, purses, Japanese loincloths, rain covers, socks, even smart phone covers. And that is to name but a few of their original goods.

Official site: http://www.wa-kaya.jp/

Tsubaki Ya Shouten sells regional Japanese food stuff such as sauces and snacks. Both Kaya and Tsubaki Ya Shouten are on the first floor.

Iwakura is on the second floor. The shop is decorated with torii (red shrine gates) and there is a tree in the centre of a room presented like the sacred trees at shrines with white shinto paper adorning it. They also have a mini shrine and a place to tie fortunes, just like at a shrine. This floor sells power and precious stones as well as goods made from the same; mainly bracelets but some necklaces too. They have lacquered goods such as chopsticks and mirrors, small bags made in traditional Japanese fashion, and glass ware too.  There is a little theater down the back of the area with seats to watch educational videos.  There is  stairs from this seating area which leads to the back of the first floor where the reception for Tsubakiya is.

Official Site: http://www.iwakura-stone.jp/

 

 Tsubakiya Foot Spa Cafe

Tsubaki No Kura (11)

This is a great spot to take a break and “refresh”, as the Japanese say, while touring around Kawagoe. Enjoy a foot spa with your tea, coffee, soft drink or beer outside in a tranquil zen garden with beautiful Japanese parasols.  You can taste a speciality of Kawagoe, sweet potato, in the form of a light treat, or an original ginger ale made from kochi ginger. The beer is also the famous local Coedo beer.  They have cocktails too. The small cafe, seating only 8 people, is very popular so it is very common to queue to enjoy the experience and the view.

Average Price: from 400 yen for a beverage, from 680 yen for alcohol, from 350 yen for a snack

Tsubaki No Kura Contact and Hours

Phone Number: 049-227-7030

Official site (English available): http://tsubaki-kura.jp/

The main URL (above) has some English, but information in store and the websites for the individual shops within the warehouse are all in Japanese only.

Hours: 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays and until 8 pm on weekends

Tsubaki No Kura Access

This shop is on the main tourist strip and is serviced by tourist and public buses. There is no parking for the shop, but there are plenty of coin parking lots in Kawagoe.

Getting to Kawagoe from Tokyo / 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.
  • About 40 kilometres from Hinode using the Ken-o highway. The toll is about 1400 yen.
  • About 21 kilometres from Nerima to Kawagoe using the Kanetsu Expressway. The toll for the expressway is about 840 yen.

From Kawagoe Station

If you are walking it takes about 20 minutes from Kawagoe Station and about 10 minutes from Hon-Kawagoe station. You can also take a bus:

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

Hatsuneya Garden Cafe【from Google Maps & City-Cost Reviews】 | KAWAGOE

Online Reviews of HATSUNEYA GARDEN CAFE written by yours truly! Sophisticated café suited to a date, a coffee with friends or some tranquil and relaxing alone time.

Local Guide Review on Google Maps:

​https://goo.gl/maps/nV8biizLBeu

And from City-Cost.com:

Chic cafe: A bit of piece and quiet in bustling Kawagoe

One hundred and fifty eight year old Hatsuneya Garden is best known to locals as a wedding hall, but it has a cafe and restaurant also. Both the cafe and restaurant only opened in recent years. The restaurant and the gardens are off limit to the public when there is a wedding on, but the coffee shop is open 7 days a week. You are free to enjoy the garden when there is no wedding on, but be warned – that is barely ever! I have yet to see the acclaimed gardens as every time I have been they have been in use by a private party.

What I like about most about this hidden gem off the main thoroughfare is that the surroundings are very tranquil. The cafe offers peace, serenity, comfort and chic. The menu is quite limited, but it is really only somewhere for a coffee and cake. They usually have about 3 or 4 desserts on offer. They only make a certain amount a day, so it is not uncommon for at least 1 choice to be sold out by early afternoon. The coffee is quite strong and most suited to regular coffee drinkers. They have tea and other beverages if coffee isn’t your thing. The other thing I really love about this cafe is its terrace. The views are particularly great, but there is a nice ambience. Smokers are welcome on the terrace, so if you want a smoke free indulgence I recommend sitting in the comfy seats indoors.

It opens from 11 am to 6 pm. There is parking for nine cars. It is approximately 6 minutes walk to the nearest bus stop. No wheelchair accessible entrance or toilets. Not ideal for children, but they don’t discourage them either.

The local guide to cafes in Kawagoe: Part ①





There is a huge choice of cafes in Kawagoe, too many for one article. Part 1 introduces THREE of my favourites, simply chosen for the first article as they are the ones I visited most recently. The featured photo with the parasols is the last entry; Tsubakiya. Each of these 3 cafes are mapped in a My Map at the bottom of the article.

 

1. Hatsuneya Garden The Cafe

For a bit of peace and quiet off the beaten track awaits a chic cafe with a terrace at the front and a garden from the Edo period at the back. The cakes are delicious and the coffee strong.  It is a place you can visit alone or on a date or with friends. Take out is also available.

Average price: about 600 yen per beverage or cake
Hours: 11 am to 6 pm seven days a week

Official Site (A little bit of English)http://www.hatsuneya.jp/cafe

A full review features on  City-cost.com:
https://www.city-cost.com/reviews/wk4ZM-Chic_cafe_A_bit_of_piece_and_quiet_in_bustling_Kawagoe_Food_Drink_Kawagoe_shi

More on insaitama.comHatsuneya Garden Cafe【from Google Maps & City-Cost Reviews】 | KAWAGOE

 

2. Shimano Tea Room

 

Shimano Tea Room has won a place in my heart as it reminds me of tearooms I visited with family during my childhood in Dublin. The servers are dressed in the old traditional wear of black tights, black dresses and white frill aprons. They even wear the white laced head piece. The selection of tea is fantastic too and their sandwiches are decent. I recommend trying the tea here, but if it’s not your thing they also have coffee and soft drinks.

Average price: Tea averages at 580 yen a pot (about 3 cups to a pot)
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 7 pm on weekends

Official Site (Japanese only): http://www.kawagoe.com/shimano/
You can read a detailed review on City-cost.com:
https://www.city-cost.com/reviews/GW4ew-A_proper_tea_room_complete_with_servers_in_tea_maid_outfits_Food_Drink_Kawagoe_shi

 

3. Tsubakiya

Tsubaki No Kura (11)

Enjoy a foot spa with your tea, coffee, soft drink or beer in the small zen garden with beautiful Japanese parasols.  You can enjoy a speciality of Kawagoe, sweet potato, in the form of a light treat, or an original ginger ale made from kochi ginger. The small cafe, seating only 8 people, is located out the back of Tsubaki no Kura, a colourful and unique souvenir, trinket and amulet store.  This shop is on the main tourist strip and is serviced by tourist and public buses. It is mapped on the Google map at the bottom of the article.

Average Price: from 400 yen for a beverage, from 680 yen for alcohol, from 350 yen for a snack
Hours: 
10 am to 7 pm on weekdays and until 8 pm on weekends

Official site (English available): http://tsubaki-kura.jp/

 

You can read a full review on City-Cost.com:
https://www.city-cost.com/reviews/zayoz-Souvenirs_Textiles_Power_stones_shrine_goods_and_a_FOOT_SPA_CAFE_Shopping_Entertainment_Kawagoe_shi

 

There are many more fun, unique, quaint, chic and cozy cafes in Kawagoe. I hope to feature more over the coming weeks. If you have a favourite or a place you’d like to share, please do comment. Comments are always welcome. 🙂