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!
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!
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
2. Cafe Torocco
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".
Lunch 11:45 am - 3:00 pm
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
3. Waryori Hanajin
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!
[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)
*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)
4. Sukitei Yoshitora
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!
*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
Their Kaiseki (Japanese banquet cuisine with alcohol) dishes aim to satisfy everyone's tastes, offering deep flavors that are a result of profound experience.
[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
*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
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!
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
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?
[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
*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
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!
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
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!
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)
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.
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
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.
[Sweets Store] 11:00 am - 6:30 pm (L.O. 6:00 pm)
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)
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.
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch from 12:00 pm
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)
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.
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
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
[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)