Hatago Coedoya is a relatively new hotel in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, just 30 minutes from Tokyo. But more than a hotel, it offers trendy dining in the Enmusubi Yokocho, or Enyoko for short. There is also a craft cafe in Enyoko, where you can currently make a Christmas Gel candle. Enmusubi means marriage or matchmaking, but colloquially enmusubi just denotes a pairing or couple. Yokocho is an alley. So it could be translated as “Matchmaking alley”, but I think we might call it “Lover’s Alley” more naturally. Please do comment if you agree or disagree!
The hotel celebrated two years last month. It is a beautiful building, well particularly in comparison to what used to be there until just 2019. It used to be a cinema, it is always a shame to see old cinemas been torn down. But in fairness, it was a really awful building! Moreover, although the building stood there until 2019, it actually hadn’t operated as a cinema since 2006. I remember it being shut down just as I moved into the area! The new hotel has brought life back into an area of Kawagoe, that although central, had run into a state of disrepair.
The building itself is called “Ritsumonzen Daiichi Building” and the hotel is in the building. The first floor though is a collection of six trendy restaurants. One of which is also a craft cafe, which opened in spring of 2021. For the record, I haven’t stayed in the hotel, but I have eaten in some of the restaurants. Furthermore, my kids have crafted here. The restaurants and craft space are the area that is called “Enyoko” or Lovers’ Alley.
‘Enyoko’ Lovers’ Alley
As aforementioned, Enyoko is short for Enmusubi Yokocho. There are several “yokocho” in Kawagoe City, the most famous of which is Penny Candy Alley. However, Enyoko isn’t actually an alley. Its an indoor food court in essence. There are six restaurants in the yokocho, all of them pretty well known thanks to social media. Perhaps, Mrs. Hamburger the most instafamous of all? But what I want to introduce today is the craft cafe…
No.2 Craft Cafe, Kawagoe Hyouka Kumotoyuki
Kawagoe Hyouka Kumotoyuki 川越氷菓 くもとゆき is the second store by Craft Cafe, whose first and main cafe is in Urawa in Saitama City. Hyoka means “frozen dessert” and Kumotoyuki is presumably “cloud and snow”. It is so named because apart from being a craft cafe it is also a “kakigori”, aka shaved ice / snow cone, cafe! And if you craft at the cafe you get a 100 yen discount voucher for the snow cones. Which is just as well as they are very expensive! They are also huge, rather than have them as a dessert its probably best to have them as a meal! The ice is made from the fresh waters of Chichibu, where there is a long running ice making tradition. The syrups are all made in house.
Craft cafe workshops
We visited the Craft Cafe in summer to decorate our own wind chimes. Thanks to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, wind chimes are a big thing in Kawagoe each summer. Truth is, my kids and I actually wanted to make our own wind chimes, like blow the glass and all, in a different location. But that workshop is only for children from third grade up and my youngest is only in second grade. Next year! The August workshop in Kawagoe Hyoka Kumotoyuki was for decorating a wind chime. They provide the wind chime, with the string and paper attached.
Currently, as I update this in the lead up to Christmas 2022, the December craft is a Christmas gel candle workshop. But, due to popular demand, they are actually offering the wind chime craft too. They also have a workshop where you can make your own fox mask, as in the traditional masks you see at festivals. You can currently make your own pottery too. The prices vary according to the craft. For New Year’s you can paint your own daruma. That workshop will continue until February 28th.
The craft workshops are done on the hour every hour. They only take two groups of up to 3 people each hour. Jalan shows which slots they still have available. You can either book through Jalan or you can book by phone (number in next section) on the same day. (Jalan’s website linked in information section below). You can also chance walking in, but they give priority to advance bookings.
The craft area is just a large table beside the reception area of the Hatago Coedoya hotel, in one corner of the food court. You can’t eat at that table, so if you want to eat you can do either before or after the workshop. We sat outside to eat. There is an eating area at the front of the hotel, which always seems to be busy. But there is also an outdoor seating area at the back of the hotel, which has an opening into Kawagoe Kumano shrine.
Craft Cafe Information
Address: Craft Cafe Kawagoe Hyoka Kumo to yuki, 1F Enmusubi Yokocho, 8-1 Ritsumonzen Daiichi Building, Renjakucho, Kawagoe, Saitama 〒350-0066
Phone: for same day booking – 070-8460-1118
Hours: the cafe is open from 11 am to 8 pm on weekdays and from 10 am on weekends. Last order at 7 pm. The craft workshops are done on the hour every hour.
Cost: Prices depend on the craft you are doing. The current wind chime and daruma crafts cost 1500 yen. For the drinks and snow cones / shaved ice, prices start from 500 yen. The snow cones though are more than a 1000 yen and that’s the price before tax is added.
I have not stayed in Hatago Coedoya, so I can’t speak to the quality or service of the hotel. But for what its worth, it gets excellent reviews online. I can also tell you that it is a great location. Its within walking distance of Hon-kawagoe station in particular. But I think for most people the walk from Kawagoe or Kawagoeshi stations is doable too. A taxi wouldn’t cost too much either as the distance isn’t far. The loop buses go nearby too. Furthermore, its just around the corner from Taisho Roman Yume street. Moreover, it is right beside Kumano shrine, some rooms at the back of the hotel probably have a view of it! In addition, Renkeiji is a stones throw away (so to speak)! And the main tourist strip, Ichibangai, is also within walking distance.
Other Kakigori cafes in Kawagoe: