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Kawagoe Tōzan (Kawagoe City)


18 Mar 2018

Through shipment across Kashigawa and deliveries made across Kawagoe highway, many goods were transported from Kawagoe to Edo. In particular, silk fabrics and/or goods made of silk are representative products of Kawagoe. As the Shogunate period reached a close near the end of the Edo period, Yokohama’s port opened, and merchants of Kawagoe were drawn to the cotton yarn imported from England. With these threads brought into weaving shops, they were turned into cotton fabrics.

Then, the pinstriped rolls of fabric of Kawagoe Tōzan were shipped to Edo with Kabuki actors as well as the famous Ichikawa Danjūrō XII modeling it on stage, leading to an explosive gain in popularity. The low price and sturdiness of the fabric is what made the common people fall in love with it.






Kawatō Brand, A Brand that Regained Its Popularity 30 Years Ago

The “Tōzan”, a cotton textile with a thin pinstriped pattern was imported around the 15th century. The “唐” (Tō) which is a letter that means foreign goods and “桟” (Zan) originates from the Kanji of São Tomé (桟留), which is a place in the Indian east coast where the ships carrying fabrics departed from. Hence, creating the word “唐桟“ (Tōzan) from the combination of the two letters.


It was not possible to create the thin thread used to fabricate the pinstriped Tōzan from the cotton plant harvested in Japan at the time so there was no other way than to rely on imported cotton. With the Tōzan being expensive, the people who could wear the Tōzan were limited to those of the very wealthy merchants.


After the anarchy of 1854, Japan opened up to the world, allowing for thin cotton threads to be imported cheaply from Europe and the United States. With these cotton threads, “Kawagoe Tōzan” came to be. “Kawagoe Tōzan” soon became popular as it held the chic pinstripe pattern of the Tōzan that the citizens admired. With the Tōzan being cheap and sturdy, Kawagoe was soon known to be the place of Tōzan and soon the name “Kawatō” became familiarized.


With strong western influences on clothing and the late implementation of machines in the early 1900s, the production of Kawagoe Tōzan was interrupted, making the fabric a rarity. However, with many of the citizens of Kawagoe feeling lament towards the fading Tōzan, those who wished for the Tōzan to return tried their hardest. In 1980, Nishimura Textile successfully brought back “Kawagoe Tōzan” through machine weaving. In 1986 an extracurricular activity for Kawagoe Tōzan started. Currently the rolls of cloth for kimono can be purchased at 2 stores in the Kawagoe area. In addition, there are new products made of the Tōzan such as bags, purses, and hair accessories. At “Gofuku Kanda”, rental kimonos are offered for individuals who would like to try on the Tōzan and walk around.











Gofuku Kanda

〒350-0063  3-1 Saiwaichō

Seibu Shinjuku Line | 15 minutes on foot from Hon-Kawagoe Station

Seibu Tōjyō Line | 15 minutes on foot from Kawagoeshi Station

JR Saikyō Line | 20 minutes on foot from Kawagoe Station



Google Map

Opening Hours

10:00~19:00 (Closed on Wednesdays)

Official WEB

Time Required to Dress Up and Fix Hair


Time Required to Dress Up and Fix Hair

30 minutes


Reservations can be made beforehand (We do not require reservations, but those who make reservations will be prioritized) How to Make a Reservation: Please give us a call or make a reservation from our website.

Minimum Number of Participants

One person

Other Points to be Addressed

¥ 4,320 for a Kimono set, hair set-up, preparation of dressing in Kimono, and footwear