14 Must-Eat Japanese Lunches in Kawagoe, the "Mother of Edo"

Publish-date: Mar 07 2018 Update-date: Feb 14 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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14 Must-Eat Japanese Lunches in Kawagoe, the "Mother of Edo"

Accessible in around 45 minutes from Shinjuku, Kawagoe is a castle town full of history and nostalgia. It was designated by the country as historical town, and carries the nickname of "Mother of Edo". Here, there are lots of Japanese restaurants offering traditional flavors from the past, like tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), sukiyaki (hot pot stew), udon (thick noodles), and soba (buckwheat noodles). Check this list of 14 recommended restaurants to discover where to have these!

1. Daikoku-zushi

1. Daikoku-zushi
This is a great sushi restaurant that attracts tons of customers every day. Here, you'll find all kinds of seafood ingredients, such as toro (fatty tuna), halibut, engawa (meat at the base of the fin), white trevally, scorched splendid alfonsino, squid, horse mackerel, spiny red gurnard, and uni (sea urchin). Their sushi rice is well-balanced in terms of texture, quantity, and temperature, thanks to the incredible skills of the chef.

They also serve delicious unagi (eel). Despite being a sushi restaurant, for lunch, they offer an unbeatable [Unaju] (rice dish topped with unagi). If you and your friend order sushi and unagi, you'll get to taste two different delicacies at once!

Daikoku-zushi

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Dinner 2:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm) *Reservations are required between 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY *Can be adjusted according to the budget / [Lunch] 1,200 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from the North Exit of Minami-Otsuka Station
Address: 2-13-5, Minami-dai, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
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2. Cafe Torocco

2. Cafe Torocco
You can find this restaurant on the corner of Toho Yamawa. Here, you can have a lunch course called [Satsuma Imo Mini Kaiseki] (traditional Japanese course cuisine with tea), comprising of dishes made with Kawagoe's famous sweet potatoes, such as rice cooked with sweet potatoes. It sells out pretty quickly, so make sure to reserve it beforehand.

At Cafe Torocco, you can relax on high stools by black tables or on raised tatami seats while savoring the atmosphere of this beautiful Edo-style town that's often referred to as "little Edo".

Cafe Torocco

Open: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm *Open even during the beginning and end of the year
Lunch 11:45 am - 3:00 pm
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,900 JPY *Be sure to try the [Satsuma Imo Mini Kaiseki]!
Access: Exit from Hon-Kawagoe Station and turn left. Just before the Toki no Kane Iriguchi crossing, you'll find Toho Yamawa on the left. It is located inside Fine china store "Yamawa".
Address: 7-1, Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
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3. Waryori Hanajin

3. Waryori Hanajin
Established in 1990, Waryori Hanajin has become an iconic place for the inhabitants of Kawagoe. The reason lies in the warm hospitality of the proprietress and the fact that all the dishes, from the appetizers to the desserts, are 100% handmade by the owner. They only have private rooms with horigotatsu (sunken kotatsu table) where you can have a relaxed dinner with your date or celebrate a special event.

Lunch is only available on Saturday and Sunday, and it's possible to choose between 4 types of meals. All the choices include dessert and coffee, so sit back and relax!

Waryori Hanajin

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 am - 9:00 pm (L.O. 7:30 pm)
[Tuesday - Saturday, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)
Closed: Monday
*Closes irregularly once or twice per month
Average price: [Dinner] 7,000 JPY / [Lunch] 6,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes from Kawagoeshi Station. Since February 19, 2016, Hon-Kawagoe Station, which is 2 minutes away, has come quite in handy!
Address: 2-12-23, Nakahara-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama (map)
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4. Sukitei Yoshitora

4. Sukitei Yoshitora
Founded in 1877, Sukitei Yoshitora offers traditional flavors while experimenting with new ones. For 139 years, they've been making their special sukiyaki with unfaltering deliciousness and quality.

The [Sukiyaki Teishoku] that they serve for lunch allows you to choose from 3 types of meat: domestic beef rib eye, domestic beef sirloin, and Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) sirloin. Enjoy it with a secret sauce that has a slightly sweet flavor. They also have other lunch options made with high-quality meat, such as [Shabu-Shabu Teishoku] (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) and [Beef Sirloin Steak]. Come savor the deliciousness of meat at this historical place that used to be a butcher shop!

Sukitei Yoshitora

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 11:30 am - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm) *They have some idle periods. Last admission is at 8:00 pm.
Closed: Monday
*If it falls on a national holiday, Tuesday will be closed instead. Closed from December 29 - January 4.
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: Exit from Hon-Kawagoe Station and turn right at the Fudanotsuji intersection on Chuo Street. The restaurant will be on the right-hand side, right before the city hall.
Address: 1-9-3, Moto-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
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5. Sasagawa

5. Sasagawa
Enjoy Kaiseki lunches made with seasonal ingredients at Sasagawa. Their [Kaiseki Imo Zanmai] is the most famous one that will let you savor the unique taste of Little Edo. It is comprised of many delicacies made with Kawagoe's famous sweet potatoes. The plates are carefully chosen as well, making your meal enjoyable for all 5 of your senses.

Their Kaiseki (Japanese banquet cuisine with alcohol) dishes aim to satisfy everyone's tastes, offering deep flavors that are a result of profound experience.

Sasagawa

Open: Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm)
[Weekdays, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm *Offers dinner service only if there's a booking
[Sunday, National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)*Offers dinner service only if there's a booking
Closed: Irregular
*Please inquire for more information
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY *For groups and private rooms, a 10% additional charge will be applied / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: Exit Hon-Kawagoe Station and turn left. Take Kanetsuki Street, turn left at the corner of Sakura Dentistry, and head to the end. You'll find the restaurant on the right-hand side.
Address: 5-19, Ote-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
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6. Mikami

6. Mikami
Fujimino Station is the closest station to this restaurant, where you can enjoy affordable Japanese cuisine made with seasonal, carefully selected, and high-quality ingredients. All of their lunch options are around 1,000 JPY, and the servings are huge. They have many authentic Japanese dishes, a lot of which are udon (thick noodles) dishes.

Lunch is served until 5:00 pm, so you can come by anytime if you're hungry. Other than table seats, they have tatami rooms with horigotatsu and private rooms, which are suitable for families and diners with children. If you come in a group of more than 10 people, they'll be happy to provide you with a free shuttle bus!

Mikami

Open: 11:00 am - 10:40 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) Lunch 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 1,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 13-minute walk from Fujimino Station. Located along Japan National Route 254.
Address: 3-12-46, Kamekubo, Fujimino-shi, Saitama
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7. Sakae

7. Sakae
[Gyu-tan Stew] (beef tongue stew) is the specialty of Sakae, and it takes a week to prepare it. You won't believe its tenderness, which will make you completely forget about the fatigue of travel!

You can try this [Gyu-tan Stew] for lunch at a bargain price by ordering [Gyu-tan Tabekurabe Lunch]. It's a luxurious set meal comprising of [Gyu-tan Stew] (half serving) and shio-zuke beef tongue (2 slices of the salted beef tongue). It also includes a salad to make your meal healthier.

Why not sample the superb gyu-tan at this restaurant, which has a nostalgic atmosphere that reminds one of their grandmother's home?

Sakae

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm) *Must make a reservation by 3:00 pm of the same day
[National Holidays] Beginning and end of the year: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) *Closed from December 29 - January 2
Closed: Monday
*They attend the Mt. Narita Flea Market, which occurs on the 28th of every month, so they will only offer lunch service on that day.
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY *Must make a reservation before 2:00 pm of the same day / [Lunch] 1,620 JPY *There are 5 lunch options to choose from, so pick according to your budget and taste!
Access: From any of the nearby stations, head towards Kitain Temple. The restaurant is a 5-minute walk from the north entrance of Kitain Temple.
Address: 1-14, Nishi Kosenba-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
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8. Jubeh

8. Jubeh
Head here to have a reasonably priced lunch made with high-quality meat, such as Mitsunashi beef from Akita Prefecture.

The menu comprises of 4 delicacies: [Pork Galbi and Pork Jowl Set], [Ishi-yaki Bibimbap Set], [Nakaochi Galbi Set], and [Premium Galbi and Premium Loin Set]. They include a salad, bean sprouts namul (Korean side dish), kimchi, and seaweed soup, plus a drink or dessert. It's recommended for families too, as you can have yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) for as little as 1,000 JPY. If you live nearby, you'll soon become a regular!

Jubeh

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 4,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 10-minute walk from the ticket gates of Kawagoe Station. Once you exit the ticket gates, turn left at First Kitchen, and the restaurant will be on the 2nd floor of Iida Bldg.
Address: 2F, Iida Bldg., 2-9-17, Shintomi-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama

9. Hasenuma

Hasenuma is known for the pleasantly smooth texture of their udon. The noodles are created every day, with great attention paid towards the best ingredients and preparation methods, resulting in its unique al dente texture. Each dish can be ordered in small, medium, and large sizes, so it suits all levels of hunger.

The dashi (broth) is completely natural, with no additives or chemicals, and it's always fresh and rich in taste and aroma. If you're in the mood for delicious udon, come here!

Hasenuma

Open: Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: 1,001 JPY - 1,500 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station
Address: 2-1-13, Nakahara-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

10. Ogakiku

This specialty unagi restaurant was founded in 1807, and nobody can imagine Kawagoe without it. Ever since its opening, the recipe for their secret sauce has been passed down from generation to generation, with the current generation being the 7th one to have received this old recipe. The sauce is so good that their food quickly sells out, as many customers come to Kawagoe just for it!

The building that it's housed in is actually a designated important building of the cityscape, giving you a taste of the real Little Edo. Enjoy your unagi while sipping on Kawagoe's local beers, such as [COEDO Beer] or [Ruri]. It's a great place for adults to spend some quality time.

Ogakiku

Open: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm *Closes when the unagi sells out
Closed: Thursday
*Irregularly closes
Access: 11-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station
20-minute walk from Kawagoe Station
Address: 3-22, Naka-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: Official Website

11. Akariya

From Hon-Kawagoe Station, head towards the streets lined with clay-walled warehouse-style buildings and you'll eventually end up at Akariya. It's a traditional cafe that serves lots of Japanese sweets, such as [Oshiruko] (the sweet porridge of azuki beans with mochi) and [Anmitsu] (the dessert of fruits and jelly topped with red bean paste). However, this particular one also serves a large variety of udon dishes for lunch. For example, their [Extra Tasty Curry Nanban Udon] has an exceptionally deep yet light flavor, making full use of dashi's benefits. They also have a popular set meal that you can enjoy all year long, which comes with their special anmitsu.

Here, you can eat udon for lunch and then have some premium [Anmitsu] or [Tokoroten] (the noodle-shaped dessert made from seaweed) to complete your meal, or even just as a snack while you take a break from your sightseeing. It's a restaurant that lets you relax and savor the atmosphere of traditional Japan.

Akariya

Open: [Over-the-Counter Sales] 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
[Sweets Store] 11:00 am - 6:30 pm (L.O. 6:00 pm)
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: [Lunch] Up to 999 JPY
Access: Around a 4-minute walk from Kawagoe Station
Address: 1-9-2, Shintomi-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

12. Maple

This popular restaurant has been gathering crowds of visitors since its opening. Despite its name that may hint at something completely different, it actually offers Hiroshima-yaki (Japanese savory pancakes) and traditional Japanese cuisine. They use noodles and sauce directly delivered from Hiroshima to guarantee the exact same flavor as what you'd have over there.

For lunch, you can have unusual set meals that include both Hiroshima-yaki and Japanese dishes: from [Hiroshima-Yaki Wagyu Nigiri Set] to [Hiroshima-Yaki Kobu Chirimen Gohan Set]. After your meal, you may want to put the icing on the cake by savoring their homemade [Special Annin-dofu], which is an extremely soft almond jelly dessert.

Maple

Open: Lunch 11:00 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch from 12:00 pm
Closed: Monday
Access: 3-minute walk from Kawagoe Station
4-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station
Address: 2-13-21, Nakahara-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: Official Website (Japanese Only)

13. Motoshi

If you're looking for a delicious lunch, remember Motoshi. For dinner, they serve alcohol and charcoal-grilled dishes made with seasonal ingredients. However, during lunchtime, their best-selling items are their kaisen-don (rice bowl dish with seafood) and soba dishes, of which only 10 servings of each are served per day.

Although they only cost 1,200 JPY, their [Maguro Sanmi-don] and [Kaisen-don] are made with plenty of fresh fish and have an incomparable flavor. Another noteworthy treat, the [Chotto Zeitaku na 2,000 JPY Course], includes 10 dishes - sashimi, soba, a main dish, and even dessert - plus a drink, so it's perfect for those looking for a luxurious lunch.

Motoshi

Open: Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY - 5,999 JPY / [Lunch] Up to 999 JPY
Access: 4-minute walk from Kawagoe Station
Address: 1F, 27-5, Wakita-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

14. Kasagi Soba Kawagoe Branch

The Kawagoe branch of Kasagi Soba is a part of a famous standing soba restaurant chain that has many branches in Tokyo, but this particular branch allows you to sit down.

Despite it being a chain restaurant, their soba is made with raw noodles and toppings like tempura are never pre-cooked. The size of the tempura and the quantity of noodles are fulfilling enough to satisfy any hungry person. They also make lots of donburi (rice bowl dish) and udon dishes. There's so many that you'll have a hard time deciding what to order!

Kasagi Soba Kawagoe Branch

Open: [Tuesday - Friday] 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
[Saturday] 11:00 am - 9:00 pm *May irregularly close
Closed: Sunday, Monday, National Holidays
Average price: [Dinner] Up to 999 JPY / [Lunch] Up to 999 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Kawagoeshi Station
Address: 1-2-2, Rokken-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: Mar 07 2018 Update-date: Feb 14 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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