I went to Ikebukuro to exchange my JR Pass, and from there I went to Kawagoe [川越], a small town near Tokyo. The historical centre of Kawagoe is called Koedo [小江戸], Little Edo or Little Tokyo. I have actuallly visited Kawagoe before and I had not thought that much of it, but I wanted to give it another chance as I was going to a fan-event over there the following day, so I got myself a hotel over there and spent the afternoon / evening wandering the town.
I arrived by train at the Kawagoe Station and I headed to the touristic area. My first stop was Kawagoe Kumano Jinja [川越 熊野神社]. I thought about getting a shuuin but there were too many people and I backed off. I thought there would be fewer people the following day but I was wrong. Oh, well. Live and learn.
After that I found my way to the Black Warehouse District Kurazukuri no Machinami [蔵造りの町並] , which is an area with houses that date from the Edo period. Today they are shops, mostly tourist traps, though. I am not a big fan.
On one of the side ways you can find the Clock Tower, Toki no Kane [時の鐘], which is one of the few historical clock towers in Japan (although it was rebuilt after it burnt down in the 19th century).
And I moved on to the Kawagoe Hikawa Jinja [川越氷川神社], which has a very cool wind chime tunnel, but it was packed at the time.
Later I visited the Kawagoe Castle / Honmaru Residence [川越城 本丸御殿]. The castle is long gone, but the palace was built in the 19th century.
I walked past the Reconstructed Moat of the Castle (I have no idea why there are no pictures of it?) and Yukizukainari Jinja, which was closed off. Then I headed off to the hotel to check in, and after that, I did some walking over the less touristic / known area of town. Right behind the hotel I came across Sugahara Jinja [菅原神社].
My next stop was snooping around Myōzenji [妙善寺] and its adjacent graveyard.
Then over to Fujisengen Jinja [富士浅間神社], a nice little shrine with a historical stelae next to it, the Shishimizuka of Uranaikata [占肩の鹿見塚].
From the grounds I could see Jitsuzaiji [実在寺], which is a very modern temple.
After that I walked towards Senbahikawa Jinja [仙波氷川神社], which I’m sure is haunted by a nekomata which appeared out of nowhere.
Senbagashishiseki Kouen [仙波河岸史跡公園], an awesome and large park with a lake and a ghost-proof bridge.
The park has a small temple altar, Enmeijizoson [延命地蔵尊] to one side.
On the other side stands Senbaatago Jinja [仙波愛宕神社] and I bought some takoyaki for dinner.
Walked distance: 22797 steps / 16.3 km