Sweet potato exhibit Hotel Hatago Coedoya Kawagoe

Hatago Coedoya hotel opened in Kawagoe during the pandemic, in July 2020. But more than a hotel, it is a Mecca for foodies, offering a trendy food court on the first floor. The food court is called Enmusubi Yokocho, or Enyoko for short, which translates to something similar to “Lover’s Alley”. But these past couple of months, the hotel is trending for its giant sweet potato!

Giant Sweet Potato at Hatago Coedoya

Styrofoam sweet potato

They unveiled the giant sweet potato at the Kawagoe Festival on October 14th 2023. The exhibit was installed by TKM. TKM are part of the Kawagoe’s regional revitalization project and manage the Ritsumonzen Daiichi Building. The Ritsumonzen Daiich Building houses Hatago Coedoya, which is a hotel of sorts, and Enmusubi Yokocho.

Styrofoam Art

The sweet potato was created by Kimio Yajima, a Styrofoam artist from Kawagoe, whose Styrofoam Art I’ve been sharing for years. I am a big fan! You can see Mr Yajima’s work all over Kawagoe. Moreover, it changes frequently, which keeps it fresh and fun. You would never guess his exhibits are Styrofoam. He has a free exhibition of his frog works coming up in Kawagoe next week, which I for one am excited to see!

Kawagoe is known for its sweet potato. I have always thought that it was famous nationally for it, but reportedly market research revealed, that outside the city, people are not aware of Kawagoe’s long sweet potato history. In a bid to increase awareness the Kawagoe regional revitalisation program have created many new sweet potato attractions in the city. Just one example; Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine are now offering sweet potato fortune telling charms, since November 29th 2023:

New Sweet Potato Charms December 2023 at Kawagoe Hikawa Jinja Shrine
Sweet potato fortune telling charms

As for the giant sweet potato, I wonder if it will become a famous photo spot in Kawagoe. Mr. Yajima carved a heart into the object to pray for everyone’s happiness. You can see people looking for the heart and plenty of people taking photos with it. The installation is on casters so they can move it. They will move it to nearby Renkeiji for the Coedo Imo Park, a Sweet Potato festival annually in February. I don’t think anything will ever replace the Time Bell Tower as the symbol of Kawagoe, but it will hopefully increase interest in Kawagoe’s delicious sweet potatoes!

More information on the hotel and lover’s alley:

2 Comments

  1. who doesn’t love ‘big’ things! cool~ we have many ‘big’ fruit and vegetables here! The Big Pineapple for example!

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