For those in love, looking for love, and everything in between, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is the perfect place to visit! Not to be confused with Hikawa Shrine in Omiya Ward, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is said to be about 1,500 years old and enshrines five deities, all of who are a part of the same family. Two pairs of the enshrined deities are married, making the Shinto shrine a popular place to pray for good fortune in marriage and family.
The entrance to the shrine is marked by an impressive 15-meter-tall torii gate, which is painted bright orange and said to be the largest wooden torii in Japan. After you pass under the torii, purify yourself at the chozuya by ladling water from the wooden trough onto your hands.
The elegant shrine buildings, interwoven with nature, make for a picturesque environment where positive vibes float on every breeze. Peruse the collection of more than 20 shrine structures of varying sizes and shapes and enjoy the lush nature, which features a tranquil stream running through the grounds. Listed below are Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine’s most popular sights and activities.
One of the shrine’s most popular features is the Ema Tunnel, which is a wooden, open-air tunnel decorated with approximately 30,000 wooden prayer plates called ema. The collection of words and the gentle melody of the ema in the breeze make for a truly unique stroll. Write your own ema and add it to the thousands of wishes and words of gratitude.
From July to September, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine decorates its grounds with thousands of multicolored wind chimes. Enjoy the relaxing symphony of the chimes and visit the grounds at night to see the spectacle illuminated.
Located behind the main shrine are two massive 600-year-old zelkova trees. Walk around the holy trees in a figure eight to pray and gain spiritual insight.
The red pencil is a matchmaking charm that is symbolic of the red string of fate. As the pencil gets shorter, it is said that the distance between you and your destined partner shrinks. Purchase this popular charm and watch your fate reveal itself each day.
Another popular charm is the red snapper omikuji, or fortune slips. Let destiny guide your hand as you use a small fishing rod to catch your fish-shaped fortune.
The Enmusubi Wind Chime Festival in Kawagoe is the perfect way to celebrate summer in Japan.
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