Kawagoe city is known locally as "Little Edo" (Koedo) after the old name for Tokyo, "Edo". Kawagoe castle was the headquarters of the Kawagoe Domain and occupied by close aides of the Tokugawa shogunate. Most of the buildings were dismantled in the 1870s but some remained or were relocated.
Before it was merged with Saitama Prefecture in 1873, it was the capital of Kawagoe Prefecture (1871) then Iruma Prefecture (1871–1873).
The Bell of Time (Toki no kane) is a bell tower originally built by the order of Sakai Tadakatsu between 1624 and 1644. The present structure goes back to 1894, a year after the Great Fire of Kawagoe. It is a three-story tower measuring 16 meters in height. The tower has been telling time to the city's residents for 350 years and has been deemed as a symbol of the city. Currently, the bell can be heard four times a day (6 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.).
The Confectionery Row (Kashiya Yokochou) is a small backstreet alley where a dozen stores sell old-fashioned cheap sweets and snacks, most of which are priced at less than 50 yen. The location was known as a neighborhood where scores of confectionery manufactures lined the alley. Many tourists come here to enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of the early Showa period.
The Kurazukuri Street (Kuradukuri no machinami) is a section of a street lined with traditional warehouses constructed in a style called kurazukuri and maintains the old outlook of what the place was like during the Edo period. The city of Kawagoe started seeing kurazukuri-style warehouses in the aftermath of a great fire that consumed one-third of the old Kawagoe in 1893. Within and beyond the Kurazukuri Street, many warehouses from the 18 and 19 centuries can still be seen. The Kawagoe Kurazukuri Museum is located in a traditional warehouse built in 1893 and allows its visitors to walk around inside and experience the life of Edo merchants.