The shrine attracts thousands of visitors during the New Year's period. They put out large 'omikuji' sacred fortune telling papers for busy periods. (Photo: Lynda Hogan)

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine through the seasons

Lynda Hogan   - 2 min read

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is always bustling. It attracts visitors throughout the year. However, there are certain periods when it is busier than others. For example, during the New Year's period thousands flock to the shrine to make their first prayers of the year. People queue for hours to pray and enjoy the 'fortune fishing' the shrine is known for. They put out large 'omikuji' fishing ponds during this period and during other busy periods throughout the year.

The shrine is picturesque all year round. One of the most famous scenes of the shrine is the tunnel of prayer plaques. Accordingly, they have a large selection of votive plaques for people to choose from and hang in the tunnel. During the summer the tunnel is lit up at night. They also have a 'glistening river' and light up event at night in the summer. And their best known event - the annual wind chimes - is also held during the summer months. Before the wind chimes, they have an equally picturesque but less well known pinwheel event.

One of the more limited ceremonies they carry out is the randoseru blessing in early spring. Children who participate in the ceremony get a mini randoseru amulet. The shrine also practices several of Japan's traditional event such as Tanabata and offers shinto rituals such as 7-5-3. The shrine is well worth a visit at any time of the year.

Getting there

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is located away from the main tourist area of Kawagoe. However, most of the tourist buses pass close by. Also, the local buses bound for Kawagoe City Hall from any of Kawagoe's station stop within a few minutes walk of the shrine.

The shrine has three main car parks. Please note that the main one, in front of the shrine, is closed indefinitely as they are doing some renovations at the wedding hall at the shrine. The largest car park is at the back of the shrine, on the far side of the Shingashi River.

More info

Find out more about Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine.

Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog 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 experien...