I was in the mood to go out and do something last Sunday, so depsite the cold miserable weather, I decided to visit Kawagoe again, to see what the place has to offer when it isn't packed with festival goers.
Got there early afternoon and hopped on the loop bus to Kitain Temple, the origins of which are said to date back over a millenium. Part of the temple serves as a museum, housed in buildings which used to be part of Edo castle, but were moved to Kawagoe in the 17th century. The buildings show a typical old style Japanese interior which is impressive, though padding around in your socks on a day like Sunday was freezing.
The surrounding gardens are beautiful, and at this time of the year the trees were beginning to show their autumnal colours, and some areas had beautiful rock formations. In another part of the temple grounds are the 500 statues of Rakan, which are supposed to represent the disciples of Buddha, no two of which are alike.
As interesting as they were, it was by now too cold to linger, so it was back on the loop bus and off to Kasiyayokocho (Candy Street), crammed with tiny shops selling old style Japanese snacks and sweets. From there, a casual walk down the street that hosts the fetsival led back to the station, and, after a warm coffee, it was time to head back to Tokyo.
Interesting place. Mental note: try going again when it isn't raining hard.