Kawagoe – A Day Trip from Tokyo to Little Edo

Kawagoe Clock Tower

Kawagoe Clock Tower

Ken Belson in the New York Times pens a great article on the city of Kawagoe which is just about an hour north of Tokyo. This is a great day trip and my favorite shop in the city is a knife shop, Machikan. I believe it is a seventh generation shop. We have a few knives which we have purchased here and are thrilled with them.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/travel/06dayout.html

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Machikan Knife Shop in Kawagoe, Saitama

Historic Kawagoe north of Tokyo

Historic Kawagoe north of  Tokyo

Kawagoe in Saitama is a short train ride just north of Tokyo. This historic city is charming and a great day trip. The downtown “kurazukuri” area is filled with old, wooden buildings and this tall bell tower.

Machikan Knife Store in Kawagoe

Machikan Knife Store in Kawagoe

Shinji and I came to Kawagoe to purchase knives for each other. Machikan is on the main street in downtown Kawagoe and I believe is a seventh generation shop.

Machikan Knife Shop in Kawagoe

Machikan Knife Shop in Kawagoe

Here is the noren (banner) in front of Machikan.

Machikan Knives

Machikan Knives

Shinji’s knife is the long, yanagibocho, for cutting fish into sashimi slices. I chose a small debabocho, for filleting small fish.

Shinji slicing hirame with his yanagibocho

Shinji slicing hirame with his yanagibocho

Shinji’s first fish with his new knife was a gorgeous winter hirame, rich with fat.

Machikan Knife Shop

Saitama-ken, Kawagoe-shi, Saiwaicho 7-3

049-222-1516

www.oakv.co.jp/sylvan/0801/index.html

Check out the website for gorgeous photos of the interior of the shop.

Ukai Toriyama in Takao

Gardens of Toriyama

Gardens of Toriyama

On the outskirts of Tokyo in the shadows of Mount Takao (Takao-san) is Toriyama. Part of the famous Ukai chain of restaurants, is a garden filled with private rooms for a meal based on grilled chicken kaiseki. This is a dining experience that is worth the trip out to Hachioji, about an hour from Tokyo station on an express train, followed by a shuttle bus to the restaurant.

Grilled Fish at Toriyama

Grilled Fish at Toriyama

Several courses are presented, including this grilled fish presented on pine leaves.

Rice Course

Rice Course

A view of the room and the rice course (shime).

Kimono-clad waitresses in the garden

Kimono-clad waitresses in the garden

While dining in your own private room you feel as though you are the only one there. On your way home after your meal you may see the waitresses in colorful kimono bringing courses to the different guest rooms scattered throughout the garden.

Ukai Toriyama

Hachioji, Minami Asakawa 3426

0426-61-0739

www.ukai.co.jp/toriyama/index.html#english