Kawagoe has prospered through trade with Edo (now Tokyo) for more than 300 years. The streets of the city, referred to as “Little Edo,” still include traces of times past. We introduce a purveyor of eel, a delicacy loved since the Edo Period, and the accompanying soy sauce, long a specialty of Kawagoe. You can reach Kawagoe in as little as 26 minutes from Ikebukuro in Tokyo. Why not visit and experience the Edo culture?
There’s always a queue at Ogakiku, a long-established seller of eel popular for more than 200 years.
Freshwater eel has been popular in Japan for around 1200 years as a food for boosting the immune system. In the Edo Period, when people were forbidden from eating meat, eel from Kawagoe’s many rivers was an important source of protein for tradespeople. Many eel merchants remain in the town. We introduce Ogakiku, established in the late Edo period (1807), a business with a history dating back more than 200 years.
Ogakiku’s eel is flavored with a sauce made with a secret recipe. The eel is cooked slowly over charcoal, leaving it with a crispy surface texture but soft inside. Packed with delicious umami flavor, this eel is a rare treat. When you visit Kawagoe, we highly recommend sampling this local dish, which has, down the years, had local merchants and traders alike licking their lips.
Soy sauce is indispensible in Japanese cuisine: Matsumoto Craft Soy Sauce dates back 250 years
A delicious eel dish requires a delicious sauce, and a core ingredient in such sauces is Japanese soy sauce, a condiment which has been produced down the centuries as a local Kawagoe specialty. Here, we introduce Matsumoto Craft Soy Sauce, a purveyor of soy sauce with a history going back over 250 years.
The company still uses traditional methods of production which require craftspeople to do everything by hand. Visitors can tour Matsumoto's soy sauce storehouse, which contains 40 large barrels of product, to see the sauce being made. The on-site retail outlet offers a range of special soy sauces that cannot be reproduced by manufacturers using mass production. Why not take a look at this traditional Japanese manufacturing process, and grab some great-tasting soy sauce as a souvenir before your journey home?
Travel out of town to Kawagoe Castle
Kawagoe Castle is one of Japan’s 100 most famous castles, and Honmaru Palace, the only building in Eastern Japan built in the Gotenstyle, still stands today following a reconstruction around 180 years ago. Visitors can appreciate the architecture and the garden while imagining the life of the samurai.
Make the most out of your visit to Kawagoe with the Kawagoe Discount Pass Premium
In addition to discounts on the return tickets from Ikebukuro to Kawagoe or Kawagoeshi Station on the Tobu Tojo Line, and unlimited Tobu Bus journeys from Kawagoe Station, the Kawagoe Discount Pass Premium also offers discounts at 10 participating stores. The pass is on sale at Tobu Ikebukuro Station.