We hear music in the distance. Drums beat and flutes whistle a traditional sound—ancient Japanese melodies in an otherwise modern city.
We follow the alluring tune and quickly become engulfed by a town that stands still in time. Men and women in kimono pass by and the buildings grow old as we progress ever closer to what looks like a raised, decorative wooden stage.
Edo was renamed to Tokyo in 1868, but a breath of that heritage lives on in Kawagoe’s “Little Edo”, with old-world buildings, shops offering traditional foods and gifts, an abundance of shrines and temples, and, of course, a collective, impassioned motivation to keep the history alive.
Making a day, or even half-day trip to Kawagoe wonderfully contrasts the ultra-modern Tokyo cityscape and quickly overshadows the small oases of tradition that sprinkle the otherwise futuristic central metropolis.
The trek to Kawagoe is not only worthwhile but easy as well.
(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on March 26, 2021. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find us on Instagram and on Facebook.)