Japan and Tokyo Guide - Kawagoe

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Last Updated : 02 July 2012


Intro Japan and Tokyo Tourist Guide
What to pack for your trip and how much to bring

Day 1 - Flight to Narita
Day 2 - Tourist in Tokyo
                - Coffee and breakfast
                - Getting a train ticket
                - Ginza and Akihabara
Day 3 - Tokyo Motor Show
                - The Tokyo Motor Show Pt.1
                - The Tokyo Motor Show Pt.2
Day 4 - Yokohama and Pokemon
Day 5 - Site seeing
                - Kawagoe
                - Odaiba
Day 6 - Hamamatsu
Day 7 - Cars and Motorcycles in Tokyo
                - Tokyo - Transport - Cars
                - Tokyo - Transport - Motorcycles
Day 8 - A day trip to Mt Fuji
Day 9 - A day shopping in Tokyo
Day 10 - Last day in Tokyo

Another place near Tokyo which I hadn't been to before was Kawagoe.  I wanted to visit the place because it is one of the few places that has rebuilt several times over 300 years yet retained traditional Japanese buildings in the central business district at least.  It was going to be a sunny so I wanted to do some real site seeing for a change.

It’s an area full of temples and traditionally designed houses and buildings.  The all wooden buildings are need I say so Japanese.  The black exterior and brown interiors are something you should see for your self. 

There a lots of temples, and cultural attractions, it also gives you a glimpse of what a normal Japanese suburbia is like – if you choose to wonder out of the main tourist area.  The houses are mostly small and units even smaller!  For ease of explaining many houses are the size of 2 bedroom units and units are the size of a normal sized lounge.  Small but feature parked is the go here!

The houses in Kawagoe are a real mix.  From really old traditional style to modern ones are all packed in together town house style.  Few had gardens and of those had an assortment of trees growing over fences.  I also noticed that almost every house had a bicycle parted somewhere in the yard!

You’ll find these smaller temples in Kawagoe and Tokyo quite amazing in that even in the busiest places and often  cemeteries that are next to them are places of solitude and quiet.  The gardens are so picturesque. Naturally the larger temples are more public and have less to admire so avoid these and go to a smaller ones.  I appreciated them and I hope everyone does.  I guess you call them church like but because the gardens and temple buildings are in the open there is a very different feel.  Solemn yet refreshing. 

It is in these areas, out of Tokyo but not yet in the country you will see why small cars are very popular, most suburban roads are really small with little of no land for gardens.  Sure there are big cars driving around but mostly its small ones.

However I noticed that there weren’t too many scooter or motorcycles being ridden – at least during  the day.  Sure there are plenty parked along the streets but I never really saw them leave or ride around en-mass while I was there.

Speaking of which crossing the road – you should use a trafficked light crossing.  In Australia in particular, are so up them selves when it comes to crossing the road.  Pedestrians think themselves as gods when crossing the road expecting everything to stop so they can drag themselves as slowly as possible across the road.  Australia is one of the few countries where you’ll see an old lady haul ass just to make cars stop then move slug like across the road.  Wish it was the exception rather than the rule.  The same stupid people are the ones who pretend not to see pedestrians when they’re driving and try to run over them and park in disabled parking.  Opps! Not the place to vent.   Sorry, back to Japan - so don't crawl across the road just go as fast as you can regardless of what country you're from.

I don't want to sound too pro-Japanese culture because it too has it's problems.  I've clearly digressed too much already!  You shouldn't need to worry about socio-political issues on holidays. Ie. Whaling.

There quite a few sites like museums to see and of course the local sweets to try.  However I must have arrived on a school outing day and there where queues in the main market/alley way.  I'm not quite sure what they where selling but it had something to do with potatoes looking at the products for sale.

It was a nice stop and worth seeing, I covered at least 5 Kms just wondering around, or rather I should say lost in suburbia but still interested in all that was around me.  I was glad to find a station to return to Tokyo and my next destination.

The day was still sunny and I wanted to visit Odaiba and the, Science Museum, Toyota Mega Web and the various TV stations.  Yes - as you should have guessed by now I just love making my own itinerary!


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