top of page

How to Experience Real Edo: Kagurazaka to Kawagoe with the Legacy of Tadakatsu Sakai

Updated: 5 days ago


Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe


Did You Know Kagurazaka Was Built for Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu?


In a previous blog, we discussed how Kagurazaka was constructed in 1636 as a wide street (12 meters across) known as "Onaridori" (Processional Way) for Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Shogun. This street was specifically designed for the Shogun's travels. Kagurazaka's construction as Onaridori was largely due to the expansive estate of Tadakatsu Sakai, the Tairo (Senior Councilor) and lord of Wakasa Obama Domain, located in the Ushigome area. The street from Sakai's estate to the Ushigome gate of Edo Castle forms what is now Kagurazaka.


Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe

Tadakatsu Sakai: The Link Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe


Before becoming the lord of the Wakasa Obama Domain, Tadakatsu Sakai was the second lord of the Kawagoe Domain. Kawagoe is affectionately known as "Koedo (Little Edo)" due to its preserved Edo-era ambiance. Kawagoe Castle played a pivotal role as a northern defense point for Edo, with successive generations of shogunate senior vassals as lords.


Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe


Did You Know That Edo Castle and Kawagoe Castle Were Built in the Same Year by the Same Father-Son Duo?


It is said that Kawagoe Castle was constructed in 1457 by the father-son duo Ota Doshin and Dokan, who also built Edo Castle in the same year. Therefore, even before Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Edo in 1590, Edo and Kawagoe had established connections, which continued to deepen over the years.


The term "Oedo (Greater Edo)" is a poetic expression used from the late 18th century to denote the expansion and prosperity of Edo. Defined by boundaries marked in red, the area historically encompassed what are now Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Bunkyo, Taito, Sumida, Koto, and parts of Shinagawa, Meguro, Shibuya, Toshima, Kita, Itabashi, Nerima, and Arakawa Wards. Given that Kagurazaka was the street from the Ushigome gate of Edo Castle to Sakai's estate, it naturally falls within these historical boundaries.



Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Archives


Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe


Kagurazaka, thus, forms an integral part of "Greater Edo," sharing a deep connection with "Little Edo," Kawagoe. Why not explore both Kagurazaka and Kawagoe in one trip? For instance, you could stroll through Kawagoe in the day and then enjoy playing Ozashiki Asobi (geisha traditional games) with Kagurazaka geisha in the evening. Alternatively, after the Kagurazaka walk tour, you might dine on the famous eel dishes of Kawagoe. The journey between Kagurazaka Station and Hon-Kawagoe Station is just an hour via the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line and Seibu Shinjuku Line, with a transfer at Takadanobaba Station.


A trip linking "Greater Edo" Kagurazaka with "Little Edo" Kawagoe offers a perfect combination to reflect on the Edo period, ensuring a memorable experience that lingers long after the journey ends.


Real Edo Experience: The Trip Between Kagurazaka and Kawagoe

Book Each Experience























Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page