Off to Visit Kawagoe 川越市

On our last day in Japan. Our friend Amanda decided to take us for a trip to Kawagoe. Kawagoe with a population of around 343,926 as of July 2011, is located in the Saitama Prefecture, With only a ‘quick’ train from Tokyo station to Honkawagoe Station it didnt seem to take too long, and we were even handed some fried chicken for the trip thanks to Amanda 🙂 (Good tour guide!)

Kawagoe is a famous town known for its edo period remaining buildings. The Bell tower still stands and for whats left, museums are on hand to display the history of the old Samurai town.

The city is known locally as “Little Edo”(小江戸, Koedo) after the old name for Tokyo, “Edo”. Kawagoe castle was the headquarters of the Kawagoe Domain and occupied by close aides of the Tokugawa shogunate. Most of the buildings were dismantled in the 1870s but some remained or were relocated.

Before it was merged with Saitama Prefecture in 1873, it was the capital of Kawagoe Prefecture (1871) then Iruma Prefecture (1871–1873). (Click below for more!)

Here we have Amanda showing Danny some of the meaning to the charms. He was looking for a ‘Safe Driving’ one! 🙂

One the best things with Japanese gardens for me is the interactivity there is. It’s never a static show where your just looking at a tree.. this garden was a prime example, and your about to see why.

A tsukubai (蹲踞?) is a small basin provided in Japanese gardens and temples for visitors to purify themselves by the ritual “washing of hands” and “rinsing of the mouth”.  Tsukubai are usually of stone, and are often provided with a small scoop, laid across the top, ready for use. A supply of water is provided via a bamboo pipe called a kakei.

All clean and ready to begin some of the tasks within.

I don’t remember these off the top of my head (the meanings) and my Kanji is no where good enough to be able to translate them (YET!) however I do recall that one was for money, one for being happy and succeeding etc. Basically, you donate however much you feel you want to (I believe usually its 50-100 yen) Ring the bell and make a wish.. collect 3 rope rings, and your basically playing a game of hoopla to which ever one you wish to aim for.

This dude makes sure you dont cheat.

Sophs up 🙂

Then D.

Its all a good laugh really to see if the gods will be on your side to aim for your wish.

If you fail as hard as I did to get them on there, not all hope is lost for your future. Right next to this (in front of Amanda) is a zeniarai bath. This means to coin wash.

It is said, that if you wash your money in this bath, your money will double in value with the way you spend it. However.. im not 100% convinced this worked with me 😉

I took this photo for Jay and Caroline lol.

Check the options they have there for the KOOLS and Marlboros! Were getting bumped here.

Alas.. I hadn’t emptied my cards before hand, (Being the last day and all) thus had no space left on my cards, There was a tiny little shop selling 2gig Compact flash cards but the price was way over priced that I couldn’t justify the money. Soph bought a cheap disposable one the rest of the day, Will need to get those seen to.

A pretty cool looking Accord.

Here stands the famous Bell tower. Restored into prime condition and a really nice sight for this little town converted to a modern city. We had a great time, enjoyed some of the local food, and vending machine milk (which was amazing!) went to a few Museums and went to the odd park (to watch the cats and be eating by bugs!) It was a great day out! Arigato Amanda! <– Epic tour guide!

Ja Ne!



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