Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kawagoe

I headed outside of central Tokyo to Kawagoe. It was a 45 minute train ride and while Kawagoe is a city of its own the entire trip was through one big urban sprawl. At no time did I look out the window of the train and see farmland or forests or anything other than buildings, roads, cars, and people.

There is a street in Kawagoe that is lined with buildings dating back 200 to 400 years. They were used by merchants back then as stores and warehouses. They were built during a time when most building were simple wooden structures and entire city blocks were lost to fire. Many of these buildings were designed to withstand fires and are an indication of the wealth of the merchants of the city during that time period.

While the city and residents are preserving the buildings themselves, and they do still function as stores, unfortunately they are located on one of the main streets of Kawagoe. This means that traffic, a lot of traffic, goes through the area. It would be nice to see Kawagoe go one step further and close the street to traffic and remove or hide as much of the electrical wiring, tv antennas, traffic lights, etc. as it can. I think it would do a lot to improve and preserve the area.







Then I found Candy Alley. All of the stores lining this street were selling handmade sweets and candies as well as some commercial candy and toys.





More photos of my trip to Kawagoe can be viewed in my Flickr photo album. There are not a lot of photos from today because:
1) There are not a lot of the old buildings left.

And

2) The amount of traffic and people made it difficult sometimes to get pictures.