Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

  • 3 min read

Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

Located only 40 kilometers from the heart of Tokyo in neighboring Saitama prefecture, Kawagoe’s Kashiya Yokochō is the perfect weekend getaway to both immerse yourself in history and taste some of Japan’s most traditional confections. 

Often translated to “Candy Alley” or “Sweet Street”, Kashiya Yokochō still retains traditional architecture from the Edo and Taisho eras and is surrounded by shrines, museums, and sakura-lined waterways.

Roughly 20 confectionary shops line Kashiya Yokochō—offering a wide range of traditional Japanese penny candy and confections sure to satisfy any traveler’s sweet tooth. 


Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

Kintaro Ame 

Tamariki Seika (玉力製菓)
〒350-0062 Saitama, Kawagoe, Motomachi, 2 Chome−7-7

The confectioners at Tamariki Seika have been making candy since 1914. They specialize in traditional hard candies made from long strands of colored sugar. The candy ropes are stacked and rolled together to create beautiful cross-sections depicting eye-catching patterns and seasonal flowers. But perhaps the most impressive candy is the Kintaro-ame which depicts the face of the Japanese flok-hero Kintaro. 

You can watch the candy being made through a window in the back of the shop and, if the timing is right, they may even let you sample the freshly-made candy. 


Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

Amezaiku (Candy Sculptures)

Suzuki Amezaiku (江戸飴細工鈴木)
〒350-0062 Saitama, Kawagoe, Motomachi, 2 Chome−7

The Amezaiku or “candy sculptures” crafted by the master confectioners at Suzuki Amezaiku are bound to attract the attention of any passerby. Using melted sugar, the confectioners are able to sculpt candy into miniature goldfish, rabbits, and dragons almost too beautiful to eat.

Ame Fusen (Candy Balloons) 

Suzuki Amezaiku (江戸飴細工鈴木)
〒350-0062 Saitama, Kawagoe, Motomachi, 2 Chome−7

While the Amezaiku at Suzuki Amezaiku are certain to impress, the long line of hungry customers are often queued up for another of the shop’s specialty items—the candy balloons or “Ame Fusen”.

The balloons are made of candy that swell up like balloons as you blow into them. It is a fun, hands-on experience that is so popular it often requires reservations during peak seasons.

Pro-tip: If you blow too hard, the candy will crack. It’s recommended to blow slowly while pointing the candy downwards.


Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street


Kameya Main Store (龜屋本店) 
〒355-0065 Saitama, Kawagoe, Nakacho 4-3

Monaka are traditional Japanese sweets with red bean paste sandwiched between thin rice flour wafers. They are often served alongside a bowl of matcha in tea ceremonies.

Kameya has been serving up fresh monaka baked daily since its establishment in 1783. They offer a variety of seasonal flavors from lemon to matcha and cherry blossom.


Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

Brown Sugar Fugashi

Matsuriku Confectionery (松陸製菓)
〒350-0062 Saitama, Kawagoe, Motomachi, 2 Chome−11−6

Fugashi is made from puffed wheat which has been coated in brown sugar. The result is a sweet, crunchy exterior with a fluffy interior.

Matsuriku Confectionary takes this traditional sweet to a whole other level by using only Okinawan brown sugar to create their jumbo-sized fugashi which measures in at 95 centimeters in length—perfect for sharing with the entire family.


Kawagoe: A Tour Down Japan's Sweet Street

Daigaku Imo (University Potatoes)

Kawagoe Iwata (川越いわた)
〒350-0063 Saitama, Kawagoe, Saiwaicho 15-26

Daigaku Imo, literally translated to “University Potatoes”, are bite-sized candied sweet potatoes tossed with roasted black sesame seeds and served piping hot. These sticky, sweet treats were so highly sought after by university students in the early 1900s that the sweet was eventually named after its most popular customer.

Since the area surrounding Kawagoe is famous for its sweet potatoes, you can guarantee that the University Potatoes served up at Kawagoe Iwata are as fresh as they are addictive.

Can’t make it to Kawagoe anytime soon? Try some of Kokoro Care Packages snacks and sweets made locally in Japan or find ingredients to create your own Japanese sweets at home.


About the author: 

Kimberly Matsuno

Kimberly Matsuno

Kimberly Matsuno is a professional content writer and editor from the US. Having spent several years living in the Japanese countryside, Kimberly holds a particular fondness for Japanese culture and cuisine—particularly anything made with shiso. You can view more of her work at kimberlymatsuno.com.

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