Daily life brought me to Kawagoe today, right by the Shingashi River. As I turned the corner to the street that runs along the river by Hikawa Shrine, I could see straight away that the cherry blossoms have opened. There are a few trees that are quite far along, but most of the trees still only have a handful of open blooms. The tree right by the North side of the bridge is always one of the first to bloom. Thankfully, after I’d finished up with my errands, I had time for a walk along the river with my youngest daughter. We stopped off at LEC Coffee for refreshments. Then headed to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine to check on the developments of the reform work there.
Photo Friday posts are more blog than information posts. More photos, less words. However, with the exception of LEC Coffee, everywhere mentioned in this post is linked to further information in English. I have added some information for LEC Coffee as currently there is no other English information available online. All photos in this post are currently in their original form – no filter, no edit.
Shingashi River March 19th 2021
Other blooms on the Shingashi River
If you are new to the blog and / or want more information about the cherry blossoms on Shingashi River, all the details (map, parking, season etc) are in the linked blog post. It also includes dozens of photos of the cherry blossoms at various stages of bloom:
LEC Coffee opened in a off license near Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine in Autumn 2020. We chose it today because it has outdoor seating. However, there is just two tables outdoors. And its right on the road. But with this situation with Covid, we only sit outdoors now. They do have take out, but after a long walk, I wanted my six year old to be able to sit down.
I’m on the fence about LEC Coffee. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t really love it either. It is convenient. Especially for anyone visiting Kawagoe to see the cherry blossoms on Shingashi River. Particularly if like us, you are limiting yourself to eating / drinking outdoors. It is expensive, but considering the area it is in I suppose that can’t be avoided.
The menu is quite small, but it is only a cafe after all. You can get beverages such as coffee or orange / apple juice. They also have a selection of Kawagoe “Coedo” craft beer. In terms of food there is only really hot sandwiches. But they have some desserts. For example, the purin (like a caramel creme) which seems to be the piece de resistance of the cafe.
Even though I ordered a caramel latte, it was a bit too bitter for my personal liking. But I’m sure others would find it to their taste. Coffee based drinks are served either hot or cold. I ordered an ice-cream for my daughter. It was literally one very small scoop of ice-cream in a tiny dish. And it cost 300 yen!
LEC Coffee Information
|Address:||〒350-0051 Saitama, Kawagoe, Shitamachi, ２−1|
|Hours:||11 am to 6 pm (the off license is open 10 am to 7 pm)|
|Cost:||Expensive, budget for upwards of 500 yen for a small sized coffee|
|Access:||Within walking distance of both Shingashi River and Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. |
Parking: there are two spots in a larger car park across the road from the cafe
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine
Just a quick update on the shrine. If you are new to the blog and / or haven’t heard about the construction work at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine you might want to read this first (scroll down to News for 2020). They’ve moved the hoarding back so you can once again walk under the large red torii. The old main car park is now completely gone. In its place is the new kaikan. There is a new rent-a-bike station where the entrance to this car park used to be. There are public toilets here as well as some seasonal blooms, including a young peach blossom. Today, there was a rickshaw outside the auxiliary building (across the road from the side entrance of the shrine). Not sure if that is a “permanent” thing or just for the cherry blossom season.
For full information on Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine:
Other places in Saitama where blooms have started:
Places that have been declared “open”, that is bloom has started and more than 50% of the trees have some open blossoms on them, in Saitama Prefecture as of March 19th 2021 include: