Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, Kantō Region, Japan

Geography | Surrounding municipalities | Demographics | History | Government | Education : University : Primary and Secondary | Transport : Rail : Road : Cycling | Local attractions | Sights | Festivals

🇯🇵 Kawagoe (川越市, Kawagoe-shi) is a city in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 February 2021, the city had an estimated population density of 3200 persons per km². The total area of the city is 109.13 square km (42.14 sq mi). The city is known locally as "Little Edo" after the old name for Tokyo, due to its many historic buildings.


Geography Located in the Musashino Terrace of central Saitama Prefecture, both the Arakawa and the Iruma Rivers flow through the city, which is approximately 30 km from downtown Tokyo. The city area is approximately 16.3 km east–west and approximately 13.8 km north–south. The altitude is 18.5 meters above sea level in Motomachi, the highest at the southern end of the city is 50.7 meters, the lowest in the eastern part is 6.9 meters.


Surrounding municipalities Saitama Prefecture • Ageo • Saitama • Sakado • Tsurugashima • Tokorozawa • Hidaka • Fujimi • Fujimino • Miyoshi • Kawajima • Sayama.


Demographics Per Japanese census data, the population of Kawagoe has increased steadily over the past century.


History Kawagoe is part of ancient Musashi Province and the area was heavily contested between the Later Hōjō clan and the two branches of the Uesugi clan, as they vied for control of the Kantō region. In the 1450s, Kawagoe was held by the Yamanouchi branch of the Uesugi Clan. Decades later, Hōjō Ujitsuna seized Kawagoe Castle in 1537, and the city served as an important base of operations when the Later Hōjō clan sought to gain control of the Kantō. For roughly two decades after that, the Uesugi launched a number of attempts to regain the region. This culminated in the 1545 Battle of Kawagoe, as the heavily outnumbered Hōjō garrison of Kawagoe defeated an attempted siege of Kawagoe Castle. This victory would lead to the end of Uesugi power in the region, and the near-total destruction of the clan. The Hōjō having secured themselves in the region, Kawagoe served for another forty-five years as a satellite castle town defending Edo, and the clan's central castle at Odawara. Kawagoe's location on the Arakawa River and near the Edo River were important elements of its tactical significance in defending the Kantō region from potential attacks from the north.

During the Edo period, Kawagoe Castle was the headquarters of the Kawagoe Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate, which had the largest kokudaka of any holding in the Kantō region outside of the control of the Tokugawa clan. The city prospered as a commercial and transshipment centre and was nicknamed the "kitchen of Edo". After the Meiji restoration, it briefly became capital of Kawagoe Prefecture (1871) then Iruma Prefecture (1871–1873), before becoming part of Saitama Prefecture.

The town of Kawagoe was created within Iruma District, Saitama with the establishment of the modern municipalities system on April 1, 1889. A large part of the town was destroyed in a fire on May 13, 1893 and was rebuilt with many structures using construction techniques of traditional kura warehouses. On December 1, 1922 Kawagoe merged with neighboring Senba Village, and was elevated to city status, with a population of 30,359. It was the first municipality in Saitama Prefecture to receive city status.

The village of Tanomozawa was annexed in 1939. The city escaped World War II with only minor damage. The city expanded in 1955 by annexing the villages of Yoshino, Furuya, Minamifuruya, Takashina, Fukuhara, Daito, Kasumigaseki, Naguwashi and Yamada. In December 1999, the old core of Kawagoe was designated a Historic Preservation District. On April 1, 2003, Kawagoe was designated a core city with increased local autonomy.


Government Kawagoe has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 36 members. Kawagoe contributes four members to the Saitama Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Saitama 7th district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


Education: University • Toyo University - Kawagoe campus • Tokyo International University • Toho College of Music • Shobi University • Saitama Medical University – Kawagoe campus.


Education: Primary and Secondary Kawagoe has 32 public elementary schools and 22 public middle schools operated by the city government, and one private elementary school and four private combined middle/high schools. The city has seven public high schools operated by the Saitama Board of Education, one by the Kawagoe city government and three private high schools. The prefecture also operates three special education schools for the handicapped.


Transport: Rail JR East – Kawagoe Line • Matoba - Nishi-Kawagoe - Kawagoe - Minami-Furuya; Tōbu Railway - Tōbu Tōjō Line • Kasumigaseki - Kawagoeshi - Kawagoe - Shingashi; Seibu Railway - Seibu Shinjuku Line • Hon-Kawagoe - Minami-Otsuka.


Transport: Road • Kan-etsu Expressway • Ken-Ō Expressway • National Route 16 • National Route 254 • National Route 407.


Transport: Cycling The city of Kawagoe operates a bicycle sharing scheme in the city centre, with eight pickup/parking locations.


Local attractions Kawagoe is famous for its sweet potatoes, and the local "Candy Street" sells such treats as sweet potato chips, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato coffee, and even sweet potato beer, brewed at the local Coedo Brewery. Some of its streets preserve the old castle town of the Edo period (17th to 19th centuries).


Sights • Bell of Time (時の鐘, Toki no kane) is a bell tower originally built on the orders of Sakai Tadakatsu (酒井 忠勝) between 1624 and 1644. The present structure goes back to 1894, a year after the Great Fire of Kawagoe. It is a three-story tower measuring 16 meters in height. The tower has been telling time to the city's residents for 350 years and has been deemed as a symbol of the city. Currently, the bell can be heard four times a day (6 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM and 6 PM) • Confectionery Row (菓子屋横丁, Kashiya Yokochō) is a small backstreet alley where a dozen stores sell old-fashioned cheap sweets and snacks, most of which are priced at less than 50 yen. The location was known as a neighborhood where scores of confectionery manufactures lined the alley. Many tourists come here to enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of the early Shōwa period. Meibutsu of Confectionary Row include fukashi, a stick of wheat bran covered in brown sugar, and amezaiku. • Kurazukuri Street (蔵造りの町並み, Kurazukuri no machinami) is lined with traditional warehouses constructed in a style called kurazukuri (蔵造り) and maintains the style of the Edo period. The city of Kawagoe started building kurazukuri-style warehouses in the aftermath of a great fire that consumed one-third of the old Kawagoe in 1893. The style was designed to be fireproof. Within and beyond the Kurazukuri Street, many warehouses from the 18th and 19th centuries can still be seen. The Kawagoe Kurazukuri Museum is located in a traditional warehouse built in 1893 and allows its visitors to walk around inside and experience the life of Edo merchants. The artisan shops in the area include Machikan, a sword and knife manufacturer in operation for generations.


Festivals Kawagoe Festival is held every year on the third Saturday and Sunday of October. In 2016, it was designated as an "Intangible cultural heritage".

Image: Adobe Stock bamboo design #333575356

Kawagoe has a population of over 353,214 people. Kawagoe also forms one of the centres of the wider Saitama Prefecture which has a population of over 1,324,854 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Kawagoe see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Kawagoe has links with:

🇫🇷 Autun, France 🇧🇷 Jacareí, Brazil 🇯🇵 Nakasatsunai, Japan 🇯🇵 Obama, Japan 🇩🇪 Offenbach am Main, Germany 🇺🇸 Salem, USA 🇯🇵 Tanagura, Japan
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Kawagoe is: -40.513,-35.916

Locations Near: Kawagoe 139.487,35.916

🇯🇵 Fujimino 139.52,35.881 d: 4.9  

🇯🇵 Sakado 139.434,35.946 d: 5.8  

🇯🇵 Fujimi 139.543,35.853 d: 8.6  

🇯🇵 Sayama 139.421,35.851 d: 9.4  

🇯🇵 Tsurugashima 139.39,35.93 d: 8.9  

🇯🇵 Ageo 139.583,35.967 d: 10.3  

🇯🇵 Shiki 139.567,35.833 d: 11.7  

🇯🇵 Okegawa 139.569,36.002 d: 12.1  

🇯🇵 Kitamoto 139.536,36.025 d: 12.9  

🇯🇵 Tokorozawa 139.467,35.792 d: 13.9  

Antipodal to: Kawagoe -40.513,-35.916

🇨🇱 La Reina -33.45,-33.45 d: 19313.7  

🇧🇷 Tubarão -49,-28.467 d: 18865.5  

🇧🇷 Criciúma -49.372,-28.678 d: 18858.1  

🇧🇷 Santa Catarina -48.5,-27.6 d: 18822.2  

🇧🇷 São José -48.617,-27.6 d: 18815.3  

🇧🇷 Palhoça -48.667,-27.633 d: 18815.2  

🇧🇷 Biguaçu -48.667,-27.5 d: 18803.4  

🇧🇷 Itapema -48.612,-27.091 d: 18770.2  

🇧🇷 Viamão -51.023,-30.088 d: 18841.3  

🇧🇷 Gravataí -50.983,-29.933 d: 18834.1  

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