Hasunoka Cafe is right across the road from the main entrance to Kitain Temple. As such, it is also close to Naritasan Temple. If you are looking for somewhere “safe”(from Covid) for a sit down coffee and / or a light meal near either of these temples, this is one of only a few cafes in the tourist area of Kawagoe with an outdoor terrace.
Hasunoka Cafe is relatively new. It opened on September 1st 2019. However, shortly after opening it closed again, for more than half a year, due to the Coronavirus. But it opened back up sometime around the New Year 2021. And it is operating daily again. The menu is quite decent for the size of cafe that it is. You get a disposable mask holder at the cafe, to keep your mask clean when you are eating and/or drinking at the cafe. It is the first and only time I have been giving a disposable mask holder at an eatery since the pandemic began.
The terrace is paved. There are also two wooden verandas, but they are not always set up for dining at. They have eight tables in total in the outdoor section of the cafe. Unfortunately, the terrace is right on the road. However, they do have two planters, which when they grow a bit bigger will offer a bit more privacy. We visited on a weekend so there wasn’t much traffic passing by. But there was quite a bit of foot traffic. It was a bit like being monkeys in the zoo, but that could be the “gaijin” thing.
There are thirty tables inside. The cafe is a converted house. Thus there are different rooms in the cafe each with a few tables. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much more about indoors as I only went in briefly to pay up our bill. During this time with Covid we don’t spend anytime indoors other than our own house! I do know that they have a room that you can rent to use too. It is on the upper floor of the building.
We only got a light snack, desserts and drinks, so I can’t speak much to the taste of the food. Except to say we were very happy with the food we got. My 10 year old daughter thought the chips (french fries) were some of the best she’s ever had! I had a crepe which is quite large: served as two separate crepes. My daughter’s dessert, a chocolate dish, was a little on the small size. However, it was very rich thus filling.
I do think the menu is a lot better than most cafes of this size. They have a really decent selection. Options include a range of sandwiches, doria pasta dishes. You can also get light meals such as hot dogs, fish and chips and toast all day long. They have curry too.
The drinks menu is also extensive with a good range of soft drinks. I typically find that cafes of this size only have tea, coffee and about three soft drinks on the menu. At Hasunoka there is at least 15 different drink options. You can get take out drinks too.
Location, location, location!
The cafe maybe located on the side of the road. But it is conveniently close to several of Kawagoe’s key tourist spots. As I said above, both Kitain and Kawagoe Naritasan are right across the road. Naritasan has a dedicated monthly visitors who come for the antique fair held on the 28th of every month. Kitain, as one of Kawagoe’s principal tourist attractions and places of worship, always has at least a few visitors. The New Year celebrations, including a Daruma market, attract thousands of visitors annually. Furthermore, during the sakura season and autumn leaves period it gets an uptick in visitors. We visited the cafe in early March while touring the early blooming cherry blossoms of both Kitain and Nakain.
Nakain is a short walk away. Nakain is another temple that attracts visitors all year round. Although small, the temple’s history and beautifully landscaped gardens ensures a steady flow of tourists. Right now, April 2021, the azalea are in bloom at the temple. The azalea are not as famous as the weeping cherry blossoms, but they are acclaimed locally.
Hasunoka Cafe Information
|Address:||〒350-0036 Saitama, Kawagoe, Kosenbamachi, 1 Chome−3−7-2|
|Hours:||10:30 am to 8 pm. However, during the State of Emergency it is closing at 6 pm.|
|Cost:||Lunches are reasonable, budget for around 1300 yen. Sides and desserts start from 320 yen. Drinks cost from 400 yen.|
The main tourist bus passes by the cafe. It stops right across the road, which is also the main stop for Kitain and Naritasan temples.
There is parking at the cafe. However, there are only four spots. Its quite tricky to park too, due to the high curb of the footpath. The entrance to the Kitain car park is also across the road. However, parking there is charged. It is a flat rate of 500 yen per day. It closes early too – it depends on the day, but it is not unusual for it to close at 4.30 pm. They put a sign up daily with the closing time.
More information on the history and sights at Kitain Temple: