Kawagoe Art Cafe Cafe Elevato

Cafe and bar in the tourist district of Kawagoe

By Lynda Hogan    - 2 min read

Kawagoe Art Cafe Cafe Elevato is one of the first buildings you come across on Ichibangai. Ichibangai is the main thoroughfare of the Edo period tourist district of Kawagoe. However, Cafe Elevato itself was actually built in the Taisho period, in 1915.

Cafe Elevato looks more like it belongs in Europe than the old town of Kawagoe. It is reminiscent of the old stone banks of European cities. The brick front is a stark contrast to the stereotypical wooden buildings of Ichibangai. To be perfectly honest, I don't know why it is called "Kawagoe Art Cafe" as there is little art in view. There are, however, several antiques in the building, including shop items such as a cash register from the early 20th century.

The first floor of Elevato is a bar. They have a counter with stools and a few tables and chairs too. It has a very Western feel. They serve six different varieties of local Coedo beer. Upstairs on the second floor there is a cafe. It is more comfortable and moody than the first floor. It is also a lot quieter. If you sit by the window, you have a nice view of the tourist district and the crowds as they come and go. You can get non-alcoholic beverages and original sweets served to your table. The building and design may feel very Western, but the food is very much Japanese with sweet potato - a specialty of Kawagoe - flavored purin (Japanese pudding) and quintessentially Japanese desserts.

Cafe Elevato is open from 11.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Thursdays to Tuesdays, closed on Wednesdays. Children are allowed and there is a space to store strollers on the first floor. There is no elevator in the building. They provide children's cutlery and bowls.

Getting there

The cafe is about a 12 minute walk from Hon-kawagoe station and about 15 minutes on foot from Kawagoe-shi and Kawagoe stations. Any of the tourist buses will bring you close to the cafe; alight at Nakamachi bus stop.

There is no parking at the cafe. There are several coin parking lots in the area.

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Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog insaitama.com for 14 of them.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.  Be sure to stop by my website where you will find 600 things to do in Saitama and 400 active events! 

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S 11 months ago
When’s the next time the street becomes a pedestrian path? I’d love to sip coffee outside.
Bonson Lam 11 months ago
I love the facades and the architecture from the 1910s and 1920s. It reminds me of some of the historic parts of Valparaiso in Chile actually.
Lynda Hogan Author 11 months ago
The facade makes a nice contrast to the typical wooden fronts of the surrounding buildings in the area.