If you have already followed Emma and Norm on their food adventure through the City of Sweet Potatoes, Kawagoe, then you are probably craving some of the mouth-watering dishes they chowed down on. Kawagoe is a historical district embodying the architecture and culture from the Edo period. From its traditional Japanese sweet shops to its Buddhist temples, Kawagoe is the perfect destination for a nostalgic day trip into Japan’s rich past.
YAKI ONIGIRI 🍙
One the more savory snacks from Emma and Norm’s trip to Kawagoe was Yaki Onigiri 焼きおにぎり, a grilled rice ball typically covered in soy sauce. What makes this snack irresistible is it’s crispy outside which is only intensified with toppings like katsuo (bonito flakes) or iwashi flakes (sardine). This enticing street food snack can be found at Nakaichi Honten (website is only in Japanese).
Address: 5-2 Saiwaicho, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0063
KASHIYA YOKOCHŌ 菓子屋横丁, PENNY CANDY LANE 🍬
The next stop on Emma and Norm’s tour was to Kashiya Yokochō, a hub for traditional sweets (Dagashi 駄菓子). The alley honors its name by displaying around 20 nostalgic candy shops along a beautifully stone-paved path.
It is not hard to get lost amongst the many bins and boxes while filling up your very own bag of your favorite sweets like Yoakin Sour Paper Candy, Penny Candies, Neri Ame (ねり飴), Konpeitō (こんぺいとう), Cabbage Taro (キャベツ太郎), and our personal favorite, Mochi Mixed Flavor Candy Box.
For more information on Kashiya Yokochō and how to find tempting treats in Kawagoe, 👉🏼head here 👈🏼
Address: 2 Chome-7 Motomachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0062
MANJŪ まんじゅう/饅頭, IMOKO
Another popular snack found in Kawagoe is Manjū which has been around for around 700 years due to it being easily made and a bargain to sell. Manjū is a Japanese steamed cake consisting of an outside made of kudzu, buckwheat, rice powder, and flour, and an inside containing red bean paste (あんこ, 餡, anko).
Unlike traditional manjū, Emma and Norm came across Kasho Umon Kashiya Yokochoten (菓匠右門 菓子屋横丁店) which serves a special treat of manjū filled with not only anko, but also sweet potato. For a yummy snack “layered with surprises” follow the address below!
Address: 2-chōme-11-3 Motomachi Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0062 (various locations)
SWEET POTATO UDON うどん/饂飩 🍠
Both Emma and Norm’s favorite dish from their visit to Kawagoe was the sweet potato udon from Okanoya Syokudo. This dish, served hot or cold, is generally cooked using wheat flour noodles, but in Kawagoe the noodles are made out of sweet potatoes making them taste even sweeter than they look. 🤤The use of sweet potatoes makes the noodles extra chewy, but still delicious. This Instagram worthy dish is not one to miss on your food trip to Kawagoe.
Address: 2 Chome-7-5 Motomachi Kawagoe-shi Saitama-ken
DANGO 団子 🍡
Continuing on their sweet adventure, Emma and Norm grabbed some dango to go, trying three flavors: strawberry, plain, and (of course) sweet potato.
Dango was said to derive from Kyoto and comes in many varieties like hadangi dango, mitarashi dango, chadango, kinako dango, etc. The chewy rice dumplings Emma and Norm devoured in Kawagoe can be found at Ikedaya Honten 池田屋本店 and they recommend the strawberry.🍓😋
Address: 2 Chome-7-3 Motomachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0062
ZENZAI ぜんざい (お汁粉), OSHIRUKO
To warm up from a cold day in Kawagoe, Emma and Norm headed to Kanmisabou Kasuga 甘味茶房 かすが for some hot zenzai. The kind of zenzai that Emma and Norm stumbled upon is typically referred to as oshiruko due to its watery consistency against the crushed red beans.
Zenzai is normally enjoyed during the winter months as it has the ability to warm people up instantly. Order something salty to go along with the sweet soup like umeboshi in order to appreciate all of its rich flavors.
Address: 6-1 Saiwaicho, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0063
For more details about Kawagoe and snacks to try, click here!
Written by Ellie Harrison