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city, Saitama ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan, on the northern Musashino plateau. It developed around a castle built by the Ota family in the 15th century and prospered as a post town on the road to Edo (now Tokyo) and as a port on the Shingashi River. During the Tokugawa period (1603-1867) it was known for the manufacture of castings and fine furniture. A railway to Tokyo, 23 miles (37 km) southeast, was opened in 1895, and Kawagoe rapidly became a commercial centre. Its industries now include textile manufacture and food processing. The city also serves as a residential suburb of the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area. Pop. (2005) 333,795.