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
Address:2-11-3 Miyashitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0052
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:
Shingashi River and the free parking area:
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? Â This is the question that faced me when I was bringing Fiona Uyema,Â Ireland’s leading Japanese foodÂ expert and owneâ¦
Other Cherry Blossoms in Kawagoe
Cherry blossom festival at Kitain Temple
There are two main ways you can celebrate the blooming of cherry Â blossoms in Japan; hanami,Â which involves picnicking under a cherry tree, or aÂ Sakura matsuri, literallyÂ cherry blossom festival. Â â¦
Cherry Blossoms at Isanuma Park | Kawagoe
Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami for locals.ãThere are cherry blossoms along the river at the playground as well as cherry blossoms lining the street that separates the lakâ¦