One of Japan’s most mesmerizing events, the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine Wind Chime Festival (also known as the Enmusubi Wind Chime Festival), takes place from July 1 to September 3, 2023.
The festival is set within the enchanting surroundings of the Hikawa Shrine, located in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture.
This shrine, known as the “God of matchmaking,” is steeped in tradition and brimming with culture, making it an absolute must-visit destination during the summertime.
What’s It All About?
The Enmusubi Wind Chime Festival started in 2014, to help “deliver love wishes to the Milky Way,” and allow visitors to experience a moment of cool respite at the shrine during the night. Throughout the festival period, approximately 1,500 Edo-style wind chimes are suspended around the shrine premises.
Their beautiful clear sounds, coupled with diverse artistic presentations, create a charming daytime spectacle and a mystical glow at night, drawing visitors into a soothing symphony of tranquility. It’s the perfect opportunity to bask in the ethereal ambiance of Japanese summer.
- Event Name: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine Wind Chime Festival
- Date: July 1, 2023 (Saturday) to September 3, 2023 (Sunday)
- Time: 9:00 – 20:00 (Talisman and fortune slip distribution until 19:00)
- Location: Hikawa Shrine, Kawagoe
- Address: 2-11-3 Miyashita-cho, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture
Getting To Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine from Tokyo
Reaching the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine from Tokyo is straightforward and can be accomplished by train or car. Here’s a quick guide on how you can make your journey:
- From Tokyo to Kawagoe Station:From major stations in Tokyo (like Shinjuku, Tokyo, or Ikebukuro Stations), you can take the JR Saikyo/Kawagoe Line directly to Kawagoe Station. The travel time is approximately 1 hour.Alternatively, from Ikebukuro Station, you can take the Tobu Tojo Line Limited Express to Kawagoe Station. The travel time is roughly 30 minutes.
- From Kawagoe Station to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine:
- By Bus: Take the Tobu Bus from either Platform 1 or 7. If you take the bus from Platform 1, get off at Kitamachi for a 5-minute walk to the shrine. If you take the bus from Platform 7, alight at the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine stop for immediate access.
- By Loop Bus: The Koedo Loop Bus offers another convenient option. Simply alight at the “Hikawa Shrine Front” stop for immediate access.
If you’re planning to drive from Tokyo to the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, the journey typically takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic and the exact starting point in Tokyo.
You’ll want to take the Metropolitan Expressway and merge onto Kan-etsu Expressway. Continue on Kan-etsu Expressway and take the Kawagoe exit. From there, follow signs for Kawagoe Route 254 (towards Kawagoe), and then navigate to the shrine based on your GPS directions.
Remember to check the availability of parking spaces beforehand as it can be crowded during the Wind Chime Festival.
The Sum Up
Indulge in the sounds of summer at the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine Wind Chime Festival. The ethereal tinkle of wind chimes against a backdrop of rich history and beautiful shrine architecture promises a uniquely Japanese experience you’ll never forget.