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Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Situated in the heart of Kawagoe in  Saitama Prefecture, lies Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. It is a popular destination for those seeking help with matrimonial happiness and matchmaking.

By Abhijit Sen

Situated in the heart of Kawagoe in  Saitama Prefecture, lies Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. The Shinto shrine is over 1,500 years old. It is a popular destination for those seeking help with matrimonial happiness and matchmaking.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Photo by: PIXTA/degu66 The shrine entrance.

This shrine has an impressive torii (shrine gate) that stands at 15 meters tall. The gate is painted in a bright orange color and is believed to be one of the largest wooden torii in the country. Walking under this magnificent gate is sure to be an exciting experience for anyone visiting the shrine.

A highlight of Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is the main shrine building, which dates to the late Edo Period. The main hall is decorated with exquisite carvings known as Edo-bori, a unique style of carving that originated in the Kanto region. These intricate sculptures were carved over seven years by skilled craftsmen Genzo Shimamura and Iwajiro Iida.

The shrine is home to sacred trees,  the most popular being the one behind the main shrine. Around 600 years old, this zelkova tree is surrounded by a stone path. Sacred water springs from beneath the shrine and is revered for purifying the mind and body.

At the shrine, there’s a popular attraction called the ema (wood plates used for prayers and wishes) tunnel. It’s a wooden, open-air structure that’s decorated with thousands of ema. Visitors to the shrine can write on their own ema and add them to the collection to express gratitude or make wishes.

Annual Shrine Events

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Photo by: PIXTA/takakichi Listen to over 2,000 wind chimes swaying in the wind.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine hosts several annual festivals, including the summer wind chime festival. Where over 2,000 wind chimes are displayed on the shrine’s grounds. The shrine’s annual festival called the Shinko festival on October 14 and 15 is the largest festival of the year. It features a float festival that has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan. During New Year’s, visitors can use a small fishing rod to catch a fish-shaped omikuji (fortune).

Travelers seeking cultural experiences should visit Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine to discover its remarkable cultural legacy.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

The shrine is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission to the shrine is free.

Other places of interest

Shingashi River

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is situated near the Shingashi River, which boasts approximately 150 cherry blossom trees spanning a 500-meter stretch.

In spring, it is a wonderful destination to witness the beauty of cherry blossoms. One of the main attractions of this site is the chance to take a breathtaking picture of a paddle boat being steered down the river under the cherry blossoms by a man in a traditional coat and hat. The pink petals of the cherry blossoms form a stunning river of petals that can be seen if you visit at the right time.

How To Get There


By train

Take the bus from Kawagoe station or Seibu Shinjuku line Honkawagoe station to Hikawa Shrine.

Where To Stay

Kawagoe Prince Hotel
  • 1-22 Kawagoepurinsuhoteru, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-8501 Japan
  • ¥13,185 - ¥20,025
  • 3.97/5 (1,297 reviews)
  • 1.6 km
Kawagoe Dai-Ichi Hotel
  • 7-34 Sugawaracho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-0046 Japan
  • ¥7,125 - ¥7,505
  • 3.79/5 (1,379 reviews)
  • 2.3 km
Kawagoe Tobu Hotel
  • 8-1 Wakita Honcho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-1123 Japan
  • ¥11,400 - ¥18,050
  • 4.49/5 (572 reviews)
  • 2.5 km

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