7 days in Japan- 10/20/2023-10/26/2023

Day 2- Kawagoe -10/21/2023

Kawagoe is located about 30 minutes by train from central Tokyo and is a perfect day trip destination. The city of Kawagoe is nicknamed Little Edo because of its well-preserved shop houses from the Edo era (1603–1868) along Ichiban Gai Street, with thick clay walls and tiled roofs. Kawagoe has many similarities to Kyoto it is just on a much smaller scale.

Train station is Kawagoe


Ichiban Gai

About 10 minutes walking from the train station is the Ichiban Gai shopping street.


 The Ichiban Gai Shopping Street, with its Edo atmosphere, is bustling with people shopping for everyday products as well as gift items.


 The Ichiban Gai Shopping Street is very lively and fun to walk around.



A Kimono rental shop


A lot of tourists are renting kimonos and walked around the city for a full Japanese experience.


Pachinko & slot Palazzo.  Pachinko is a mechanical game originating in Japan that uses as an arcade game and much more frequently for gambling.


I never knew what Pachinko meant until I watched the series Pachinko on Netflix. 

Gambling for cash is illegal in Japan, but the widespread popularity of low-stakes pachinko in Japanese society has enabled a specific legal loophole allowing it to exist. Pachinko balls won from games cannot be exchanged directly for money in the parlor, nor can they be removed from the premises or exchanged with other parlors

Hikawa Shrine

  Hikawa Shrine is said to be about 1,500 years old and enshrines five deities, two pairs of the enshrined deities are married, making the Shinto shrine a popular place to pray for good fortune in marriage and family. Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe is popular for people who search for love and make a wish to find their soulmate. It is also a popular place for wedding ceremonies over the year. The name for the Hikawa Shrine comes from the Hikawa River in Izumo (Shimane Prefecture).

Entering the shrine


Lots of lanterns on the entry way.  These lanterns show the names of people or corporations that sponsor the shrine upcoming festivities


Many people visit this shrine because it is very well known for granting love wishes.


Entering the inner gate.



Inside the shrine there is Hikaru Kawa river and that why this location was selected for Hiwaga shrine for purification.

People can perform a ritual called Hitoga Nagashi where they will blow 3 times on a small paper doll, rub it onto thier clothing, and then release it into the river to dissolve away the sins.


To enter the shrine people are required a purification ritual that begins with washing hands, and mouth rinsing.


Two pretty ladies starting their purification ritual


Clear water from the river Hikaru Kawa river


Hoa starting with the purification ritual.


People lining up to enter the shrine.


A few shrines inside the courtyard.


A couple looking at instructions on whatever they are wishing for.....


Then both of them walked over this man made door.  I am not sure of the meaning of it.


It is believed that the wind has the power to convey people's feelings so people hang chimes around the shrine to send their feelings to their loved ones.


Emma (Wooden plaques)


The shrine sell Ema for people to write wishes on and hang in designated areas around the shrine grounds.


Ema can be specialized to help bring about specific fortunes, wishes, etc...


Walking around the shrine


Hikawa Shrine enshrines 5 grand deities. They are Ashinazuchino-mikoto, Tenazuchino-mikoto, their daughter deity of Kushiinadahimeno-mikoto, her husband deity of Susanoono-mikoto, and the final deity said to be the daughter (or descendant) of the previous two, Oonamuchino-mikoto.


Because these 5 deities are family,  Hikawa Shrine is said to bring happiness to the family and marriage, as well as good luck in matchmaking


Hikawa Shrine is also known for holding an event, called Enmusubi Furin (Matchmaking Wind chime) every summer. 2,000 wind chimes are hung throughout the shrine, and legend says that their resonance in the wind will carry the worshippers' wishes to the god of matchmaking. Many people visit the shrine every year, looking forward to the photogenic sight of colorful wind chimes swinging in the air.


We are now leaving the shrine.


NEXT... Day 2- Lunch in Kawagoe




Our house


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 Mon  petit coin