While its better-known cousin Nikko is a highly recommended, World Heritage-listed time capsule of Old Japan, Kawagoe is considerably closer to downtown Tokyo – just 30 minutes or so from Shinjuku – and is charming in its own right. The main attraction is a historically preserved main street of Edo-era kurazukuri (clay warehouses), which now host all manner of cafés, restaurants and shops within their walls. Nearby Kitain Temple is one of Japan’s most important, housing the only remaining structures of Edo Castle.
A beautiful and most meticulously preserved temple complex
Hot springs and many rewarding hikes on mountain ranges
Home to a cannonball-themed virtual reality tour of Tokyo
One of Tokyo's best parks, with rare varieties of cherry blossoms