Kawagoe WIth Kids

28 things to do in Kawagoe with kids

Things to do in Kawagoe with kids?

What to do and what to see in Kawagoe from a Kawagoe Local Guide. In this article, I introduce 28 things to do in Kawagoe with (or without) kids including crafting, climbing, ninja experience, animal cafes, petting zoo, scavenger hunts, trick art, blowing candy, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine and so much more.

Kawagoe is an Edo period tourist town close to Tokyo. The main tourist area, Ichibangai, comprises original edo period storehouses and the Bell Tower, a symbol of Kawagoe. A lot of tourists spend their time around Ichibangai, but there is a lot more to the city than that one stretch of ancient storehouses. The choice of things to do and see is virtually endless…

28 Things to do in Kawagoe with kids

The 2020 version has two brand new additions: an authentic ninja experience in a ninja house in the tourist area of Kawagoe and animal interaction experiences. For the latter, there are actually two locations with a petting zoo in Kawagoe. Skip straight to the information about the new petting zoo and new animal cafe in Kawagoe. Skip straight to the Ninja experience information added in 2020.

Please note that from April 8th to May 6th 31st 2020 the Saitama Prefecture will be in a state of emergency apropos the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and several facilities will be temporarily close.

1. Scavenger Hunt

Kawagoe styrofoam art . Kawagoe with kids

There are over twenty styrofoam art works in Kawagoe. A lot of them are animals. You can create a challenge for the kids; see how many they can find. Or give them a print out with the pieces they have to find and see if they can tick them all off.  Read more in English…

Hours: All day, everyday!
Cost: Free
Location: All over Kawagoe, but there is a concentration of them in the Penny Candy Alley
Google Maps

2. Find your zodiac animal for good luck

The 500 Rakan are statues on the grounds of Kitain Temple. There are actually 538 of them now, there were 540. It sounds a lot, but it doesn’t feel that many when you are there. No two are the same. Within the 538 there are 12 statues of men with chinese zodiac animals. And there are other statues depicted with animals too. My kids really enjoyed searching for their zodiac animal. The staff at the gate have a map with the answers so you can get a bit of help if needed.

Hours: Opens at 8.50 am all year round. In winter it closes at 4 pm except on Sundays and bank holidays when it stays open until 4.20 pm. The rest of the year it is open until 4.30 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and until 4.50 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Cost: 400 yen for adults, 200 yen for children from primary school age
Location: Kitain Temple
Google Maps

3. Make your own crockery at a pottery workshop

Pottery workshop Kawagoe , Kawagoe with kids

Located in the heart of the tourist area, right at the Ichibangai pedestrian crossing to the Bell Tower, Yamawa offers a very reasonably priced pottery class that is suited to people of all ages. Read more in English…

Hours: advance booking. 10 am to 6 pm
Cost: 1,900 yen per person
Location: Touho Yamawa
(Google Maps)

4. Make your own glass art

Glass blowing at Matsumoto Shoyu Factory

Parallel to the main tourist thoroughfare is Matsumoto Soy Sauce Factory and shop with a cafe and shop. Here children over the age of five can craft at Glass Art Blue Moon in a quaint Edo period storehouse. It costs upwards of 1,900 yen, depending on what you are doing.

Hours: booking line open from 10 am to 6 pm, workshop from 10 am to 4.30 pm
Cost: from 1,900 yen per person
Location: Glass Art Blue Moon
(Google Maps)

Other crafts you can try in Kawagoe include, but are not limited to, Chalk Board Art, Jewellry and Gel candles.

5. Buy Amezaiku or blow your own in Penny Candy Alley

amezaiku blow your own candy in Kawagoe

In the Penny Candy Alley there are several treats, literally and figuratively, awaiting you. Including the traditional amezaiku stall. Amezaiku is a rarely practised age old candy art where the sculptor transforms candy into edible works of art. Not only can you watch the sculptor at work, but you can also try blowing candy yourself for just 100 yen. Read more…

Hours: no fixed hours
Cost: 300 yen per lolly or 100 yen to blow your own candy
Location: Penny Candy Alley
(Google Maps)

**Page 1 (of 2) of 26 things to do in Kawagoe With Kids**

6. Pose with funny and clever trick art displays

Trick art Kawagoe

A great addition to the main tourist area since last year is the Trick Art Museum. If you like taking photos and your kids like taking funny photos, the 3D trick art museum is bound to be a hit. Read more…

Hours: 10.30 am to 5 pm Wednesday to Monday, closed on Tuesdays
Cost: 700 yen for adults, 500 yen for children over 4
Location: Motomachi
(Google Maps)

7. Visit kid friendly shrines such as Hikawa Shrine

Hikawa Shrine is my kids favourite shrine in Kawagoe. Namely because they have fortune fishing! And children’s paper fortunes. Hikawa jinja have a really great line up of annual events. With kids, the annual tanabata and wind chimes event is particularly charming.

ours: 10.30 am to 5 pm Wednesday to Monday, closed on Tuesdays
Cost: 700 yen for adults, 500 yen for children over 4
Location: Motomachi
(Google Maps)

8. Turtle watch at Naritasan

Turtle pond at naritasan kawagoe

Apart from selling Rilakkuma amulets, the Naritasan temple appeals to small children as there is a turtle pond in one corner. On the grounds there is also a shrine to one of the Lucky Seven Gods. Another scavenger hunt opportunity there! See if they can find the depiction of one of the seven lucky Gods. What it is most famous for is its really fun antique fair on the 28th of each month. Read more…

Cost: free
Location: Beside Kitain
(Google Maps)

9. Enjoy Kitain Temple

Kitain temple autumn leaves

There are two playgrounds on the vast grounds of the temple. Best suited to small children, it offers them a little break from touring around and have a bit of play time. But more than that they have some seasonal events that are suited to small children. For example, the daruma market in January, bean throwing festival in February or the cherry blossom festival and hanami in March. The garden on the grounds is particularly resplendent in Autumn. Read more…

Hours: Base hours are 8.50 am to 4 pm, but part of the grounds are open 24 hours
Cost: 400 yen if you are entering the heritage house or rakan gardens, otherwise free
Location: Kitain Temple
(Google Maps)

10. Play at Miyoshino Shrine

playground miyoshino shrine kawagoe

Miyoshino Shrine near Kawagoe’s city hall has a great playground for kids. It has play equipment for kids from zero to ten years old, including a sand pit, climbing, swings, flying fox and spring rides. Like Kitain Temple it is a great spot for a cherry blossom picnic aka hanami. Read more…

Hours: The shrine is only open to the public a couple of days a year, but the grounds and playground are open 24 hours
Cost: Free
Location: Miyoshino Shrine
(Google Maps)

11. Befriend a rescue cat and Cafe Katsu Neko

There are a couple of cat cafes in Kawagoe, but Cafe Katsu Neko is the most child friendly. It is a shelter for rescued cats. If you warm to one you can buy it, after taking it home for a few days to make sure you are a good fit for each other. (Kawagoe owl cafe and petting zoo information here). Read more…

Hours: noon to 8 pm everyday but Monday
Cost: upwards of 600 yen
Location: Crea Mall
(Google Maps)

12. Amuse yourself at Maruhiro rooftop fairground

Maruhiro ferris wheel

Unfortunately, there are only a few more months that you can enjoy a rooftop fairground in Kawagoe with kids. The famed Maruhiro rooftop fairground will close on August 31st 2019. If you are visiting before then, be sure to check it out. Read more…

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm
Cost: upwards of 100 yen
Location: Crea Mall
(Google Maps)

**Page 1 (of 2) of 26 Things to do in Kawagoe with Kids**

13. Try traditional sports at Kendama Cafe

The Sulab Kendama Cafe is the only one of its kind in Kawagoe or surrounding areas for that matter. It is a really fun space for kids where they get to try something uniquely Japanese for just the purchase of a juice (or tea or coffee). Read more…

Hours: everyday but Thursday, from 11 am to 9 pm
Cost: upwards of 350 yen
Location: Hon-Kawagoe
(Google Maps)

Continue to page 2 for numbers 14 to 26 of Things to do in Kawagoe with kids. Page 2 is geared more to residents and longer term visitors to Kawagoe.


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  1. so so so much to do! But really… a soy sauce factory??? doesnt sound quite as appealing as most of the others!

    1. Author

      You would think right? But its actually one of the most popular blog posts about Kawagoe of all time on my blog! So I figured I better put it in!

  2. What about Yabi fishing in the rice fields?

    1. Hi Evan,

      I didn’t know about that – thank you very much. I will look it up and try it out. Bet my kids would love that. They love to catch cray fish in the rivers in summer. Thank you so so much for sharing. I really appreciate it.

      All the best,


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