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Revamped McDonalds with McCafe and free play area
Price: 500 yen
A much better, classier, family friendly branch of McDonalds was re-opened on route 254 in Kawagoe in March 2017. The new branch has a McCafe and a free children's play area.
The free children's play area is in an enclosed sound proof family room that has low tables with soft chairs for children as well as regular tables and chairs. The play area is small, basically climbing and a slide, but it is very popular with kids from 1 to about 8 years old. They do request that only children in lower grades of elementary school and younger use this play area. This branch also has free wifi and ports for charging devices for free. The McCafe area has a good selection of hot drinks and doughnuts. There is a smart drive through. The branch and the car park are all non-smoking.
This branch is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
In the Area
Until last month there used to be two branches of this chain store in Kawagoe. One was exclusively a Toys R Us and this one was a Babies R Us. However, since closing the Toys R Us on route 254 this branch has become both. It is severely lacking as a Toys R Us, but it is a great branch of their baby version of the store.They have everything you need for a baby or as a pregnant or nursing Mom. There is one section dedicated to Moms with maternity clothes which are generally better than in other stores around. They have some maternity clothes in bright colours which are lacking in other maternity wear shops where black and grey are the most common colours. They have a great selection of maternity underwear. They also sell goods needed during a hospital stay for giving birth. Beside this section is the area that sells food and necessities for baby. They have a pretty good selection of bottles, but have unfortunately stopped carrying Tommee Tippee bottles which they carried for years. You can buy nappies in bulk here and they work out a little cheaper than other stores, however, in my experience the cheapest place to buy nappies is actually homeware stores. They sell cribs, cots, high chairs, high - lo chairs, car sets... basically everything you need for a baby. The center of the store is dedicated to clothes and shoes and they have a really good selection. They frequently have special offers and sales. The right hand side of the store is the toy area. This store has a very good nursing room with baby weighing scales, boiled water and a microwave. They also have clean toilets with baby keeps. This branch often holds special events.
This temple is much lesser known among tourists and it is also outside of the general tourist area of Kawagoe. It has a very local feel and the only reason I really thought to give it an online presence in English is that it is one of the stops on the 7 Lucky Gods of Kawagoe Pilgrimage.The Pilgrimage is one that exists from ancient times and is currently enjoying a boom due to the amount of information about it in leisure magazines. The best day to do the pilgrimage is the first of the month or the first week of New Year which are the days of the seven lucky Gods. There is still little in way of English information, but you will find basic information through a search. The Tennenji is the 2nd stop on the pilgrimage and it is where you can worship Juroojin, the God of longevity, said to grant wealth, fertility, and protect from illness. The area for this worship is on the right behind what I presume is the house of the keeper. If you want to buy a talisman at this temple, you will see a window in this house that you ring for service. The temple is well kept and the grounds quite quaint. They have some beautiful flowers. I was there earlier in the week and the Allspice and (surprisingly) a plum blossom are currently blooming. There is free parking for about four cars. There is one toilet; a portaloo type one!
If you are looking for love this year, you might want to visit Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe. Frequently listed as one of the nation's top shrines to visit for good luck in love in Japanese travel and leisure magazines, Hikawa Shrine is conveniently located a short walk from the tourist area of Kawagoe.It happens to be one of our local shrines and we use it for all big events such as 7-5-3 and omiyamairi (1 month after a baby is born) celebrations. The shrine and its grounds are much bigger than most shrines in the area, but still smaller than the average temple. You can easily walk the perimeter in 10 minutes, but it is what the shrine has to offer that attracts millions of visitors each year. The biggest pull is of course the shrines association with the prospect of love and the amulets they sell to boost your love chances. However, they also have some great seasonal attractions, not to mention that the grounds and the buildings are very picturesque. They have a coffee shop to boot and facilities for babies adds to the convenience for families. Currently, for New Years they have a number of paper fortune draws you can try, including the unique and very popular fishing paper fortune draw. You use a fishing rod to pick up a wooden fish with your paper fortune inside. You can keep the fish as a souvenir. In spring you can take a boat down the Shingashi river under the cherry blossoms and if you time it right you get to see the petals covering the water making it look like a river of pink. In summer, they have their annual wind chime and tanabata festivals as well as some music performances.
If you don't drive and / or don't live near a Costco, Ok can be the answer to your shopping prayers! It is not as big as Costco, but the OK stores are very good value for money considering it is not bulk buying.Their meat is fairly standard costs and sometimes a little expensive, but their fruit, veg, baby goods and particularly their foreign produce is cheaper than most supermarkets. If you sign up to become a member you get a further 3% off your bill when you show your member card. It is easy to sign up for the card too, they create it there and then on the spot and you don't have to give much personal information.This branch is part of the Shimachu off route sixteen and route 254. Parking is plentiful and free. The shop is open from 10 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.
The play centre is located on the 4th floor of a civic centre for citizens, commonly referred to as "Kurasse" which is the buildings name. Below it there is a library and above it there are meeting rooms and citizen services. The staff are very helpful, but to the best of my knowledge none of them speak English. They have some pamphlets and information for living in Kawagoe, but they are all in Japanese only. The centre isn't particularly big, but it has enough to entertain young kids. There is a main hall with some play equipment including climbing boxes and a slide. They hold events here including an English language event three times a month. Beside the office of the children's centre there is a smaller room with quite a few toys including a play kitchen. There are a selection of books in the hall, including some English books. They have clean and well kept toilets divided into ladies and mens, and they also have a wheelchair accessible toilet that has a changing mat. The centre is open from 9.30 am Wednesday to Monday, closing on Tuesdays except when its a public holiday. It is conveniently located within minutes walk of JR and Tobu Tojo line Kawagoe station. There is parking down a narrow alleyway beside the centre, but parking is charged. I previously drove an American car (Chrysler, Voyager) which was too big to turn into the car park! I have an 8 seater now too, but it is a Japanese model and therefore a bit narrower and it can navigate the turn no problem.