Aug 6, 2018
Despite the high heat of up to 40 degrees, I wanted to go to Kawagoe in Saitama. The old traditional area with its many old houses is well known and I have been there a few times. Besides the old town there is another great place, which you should not miss on your list. North of Kawagoe station is the beautiful Hikawa shrine, which can be only reached by car. That was also the reasons why this place has been on my "to do" list for years, it´s just incredibly difficult to reach without a car.
Every summer the shrine holds the wind chime festival, where many small wind chimes made of glass are placed around the shrine. There are even some small wind chime tunnels, which are beautifully light up in the evening.
As the shrine is very popular especially during summer, the parking lot was very crowded, although there are two really big ones. I parked at the back entrance of the shrine, which led over a large Ema (small wooden plates with wishes on it) tunnel to the shrine building. The tunnel itself was already worth seeing.
The shrine was colorfully decorated everywhere with glass games, colorful wish lists and small fish luck charms. For a small donation of 300 yen, you could fish for your small fish charm, which was available in 5 different colors with different meanings. The fish also had a small fortune note in his tail, which unfortunately did not turn out so well for me, but I was just happy about my blue fish charm.
While I was at the shrine I could see a traditional Shinto wedding. Shrine helpers, priests, the bride and groom and of course all the guests dressed in traditional clothes and walked to the shrine. It looked really great, but I felt very sorry for the bride, who had to wear a very thick with wedding kimono in this heat.
The visit to the shrine was definitely worth it. It was bigger than expected and there was a lot more to see than I thought.
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo, but my true love belongs to the countryside of Japan (especially Chiba and Hokkaido). I love traveling in Japan and explore hidden areas.
I want to help people with my articles to get in touch with the Japanese culture and all the beautiful places you can explore.
Besides traveling around, I love trains, handcraft and my little rabbits.