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Goin’ Japanesque!

7 Recommended Souvenirs of Koedo, Kawagoe

The quaint kurazukuri style (warehouse style) structures line the streets, and the cityscape that express an Edo mood are the appeals of Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture. Other than restaurants and sundries shops, there are various little shops standing side by side throughout the city. This makes it the perfect place to walk around and to enjoy some shopping. For those of you who are thinking to buy souvenirs but are not sure what to get, we would like to introduce some recommended souvenirs from Kawagoe. Photo: flickr.com

 

1. COEDO Beer

kawagoe-souvenir-coedo-beer
https://www.flickr.com

This is a microbrew beer that is made locally at the Coedo Brewery. There are 5 types of beers that vary in color and taste. The design of the bottle is also cute so it is also recommended for young women who like drinking. This can also be purchased outside of Kawagoe-city in department stores and liquor stores.

Where to Enjoy Koedo Beer Locally

Kawage Art Café Elevato: Map

 

2. Fugashi Snack

kawagoe-souvenir-dried-wheat-gluten-snack
https://www.flickr.com

Fugashi is a snack made from a food ingredient called fu (dried wheat gluten) coated with raw sugar. The traditional confectionery shop Matsuriku Seika, located in Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Alley) an alley street lined with several dozen candy stores, offers a fugashi that is 95 cm long. The gentle sweetness of the raw sugar is very delicious and it is light in taste and substance so it is a popular snack that is favored by children and adults alike.

Matsuriku Seika: Map

 

3. Fukuresen (Puffed Rice Cracker)

kawagoe-souvenir-fukuresen
This is a rice cracker with the unique appearance of being puffed up like a ball. It can be purchased at several confectionery shops within the city. It generally is lightly seasoned with soy sauce, and it is light and crunchy. It is light in texture and easy to eat. It is offered at a reasonable price too so it is also recommended as a simple gift.

Related Articles: Know your Rice Cracker: Shape, Flavor, and Ingredients

 

4. Sweet Potato Snack

Kawagoe is famous for their sweet potato, the satsumaimo. Around the city, you will see sweets and many other foods that use the sweet potato as its ingredient. There are various types; sweets that you can eat while walking around as well as Japanese style snacks that are perfect for gifting. We would suggest that you try and compare to find your favorite.

 

5. Imokoi

kawagoe-souvenir-imo-koi
https://www.flickr.com

This is a snack with a gentle sweetness. It is made of sliced sweet potato and chunky red bean paste that is covered with a batter made of yam and glutinous rice flour. It is manufactured and distributed by the confectionery, “Umon”. They are recognized by Saitama Prefecture as a good trustworthy brand and it is also popular as a snack of Kawagoe. It is a simple-to-eat palm sized snack and is quite filling too so it is recommended for eating on the go while strolling about the city.

<Umon>
Toki no kane Branch: Map
Kawagoe Ekimae (Kawagoe Station) Branch: Map

 

6. Tubasakarin

kawagoe-souvenir-tsubasakarin
https://www.flickr.com

This is a snack that uses a batter that has burnt syrup blended in, filled with sweet potato paste, and then deep fried to a rich brown. It is manufactured and distributed by the traditional confectionery Monzoan. The outside skin has a rich burnt flavor of raw sugar and the filling has a moist texture which is addicting. It is a specialty of Kawagoe.

<Monzoan>
Main Branch: Map
Kawagoe Branch: Map
Kawagoe Nishi (West) Branch: Map
Kitain Branch: Map

 

7. Kame Dora

kawagoe-souvenir-kame-dora
https://www.flickr.com

This is an original snack called “Kame Dora” from a traditional confectionery of Kawagoe, “Kameya”. It is a dora-yaki (a confection made with a filling of sweet azuki red bean paste sandwiched in two small pancake-like patties made from castella) shaped like a turtle. The turtle (kame in Japanese) is the symbol of Kameya. It uses moist cake and other than the standard fillings of chunky red bean paste (tsubu-an) and smooth red bean paste (koshi-an), they seasonally come out with different fillings such as sweet potato paste, chestnut and apple. It tastes delicious and looks cute too so it is something you can’t help wanting to give to someone as a gift.

<Kameya>
Motomachi Branch: Map

 

Other Easy-to-Buy Souvenirs: Dagashi Snacks

kawagoe-souvenir-cheap-sweets001
https://www.flickr.com

kawagoe-souvenir-cheap-sweets002
https://www.flickr.com

Within the Kashiya Yokocho, there are many stores that sell nostalgic Japanese candy and toys. For those that have lived in Japan, you will recall running to the shops with a few ten-yen or hundred-yen coins in your hand to buy the snacks; they are quite reasonably priced. They are easy to buy and have a very Japanese feel to them, so it would also be a pleasant souvenir for children. 

Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Alley): Map

 

So the stores above that we have introduced for reference are only a few of the many souvenir shops of Kawagoe. Within the city, there are still many more souvenirs to choose from so we encourage you to take a look at the various shops to find your very best souvenir. For some of you, the experience of walking around the area may become the best souvenir in itself.

Related Articles: Kawagoe Area

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KAWATA

About the author

I'm interested in general in all things related to culture and fine arts with a focus on movies, art, and design. I hope to introduce to many people all the different sides to Japan in regards to Japanese culture.

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