Just north of Tokyo is Kawagoe, or Little Edo as it is also sometimes called. There are some preserved buildings from the Edo period (1604 – 1868) and is a very pleasant place to walk around. Off the main tourist area, and less well known, is Kita-in temple, thought to have been founded in 830AD, and very important during the Edo period. The last remaining structures from the old Edo castle (once the biggest in the world) are still here. It is quite popular now for Japanese at hatsumōde, the first shrine visit of the New Year:

The most amazing part of the shrine, however, is the hundreds of small statues that were carved between 1782 and 1825. No two are alike.