Kawagoe – Kitain Temple

This is Part 3 of 3, the final installment on our coverage of Kawagoe!

From where we left off previously, Part 1 covered the Warehouse District; the Bell of Time, and the Kawagoe Kurazukuri Museum. 

In Part 2, we visited the Kawagoe Festival Museum & Candy Alley before heading to Honmaru Goten and even attended and also participated in the Junior High School Matsuri!
Kawagoe – Candy Alley and Festivals

In Part 3 here, we saved the best for last!

I’ll be blogging mainly about the Kitain Temple: Star & main attraction of Kawagoe  – The final part of our coverage and guide to Kawagoe!

Kitain Temple
One of the most important temples in the Kitain Temple, Kawagoe’s number 1 attraction; with the second most famous attraction here being: Kurazukuri no Machinami  – (Kawagoe’s Warehouse District).

Thw word Tahoto, means: ” many-jeweled pagoda” and is a form of Japanese pagoda found primarily at Esoteric Shingon and Tendai school Buddhist temples. 

It is unique among pagodas because it has an even number of stories – only two. 
The second story has a balustrade and seems habitable, but is nonetheless inaccessible and offers no usable space.

Its name alludes to Taho Nyorai, who appears seated in a many-jeweled pagoda in the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra. With square lower and cylindrical upper parts, a mokoshi ‘skirt roof’, a pyramidal roof, and the finial, a Tahoto or the larger Daito – was one of the seven halls of a Shingon temple.

The Tahoto

After the Heian period the construction of pagodas in general declined, and once new Tahoto started becoming rare.

There are many pagodas within the premises of temples in Japan. 

This one in Kitain, is a two-storey pagoda, which is considered very rare, since most pagodas now have an odd number, and many more floors too, such as three, five, or even as much as seven floors.


Kitain Temple

Kitain Temple
Kitain Temple is home to the only remaining structures of the former Edo Castle.
Kawagoe’s Kitain, is the head temple of the Tendai Sect in the Kanto Region. 

Among its halls are the only remaining palace buildings of the former Edo Castle.

Bright pink cherry trees – Spring is definitely the best time of year to visit!

Originally part of a three-temple complex built in the year 830, Kitain Temple flourished and became the main temple at the turn of the 17th century under the leadership of Tenkai, an extraordinary personality who developed trusted friendships with the first three shogun of the Edo Period.

Sadly, in the year 1638, a fire destroyed most of Kitain Temple.
To help rebuilt it, the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, ordered several palace buildings to be moved from Edo Castle to Kawagoe. 

These are today the only surviving buildings of Edo Castle because of the damage Tokyo suffered during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and World War II. 

Kitain Temple compounds

One of the rooms, decorated with a floral ceiling and a set of a general’s armor, is believed to be where Lord Iemitsu was born.

Kitaiin Temple is very well worth a visit in the morning, awaiting visitors with its colorful Buddhist drapes, spacious with little corners to discover. 

Damn!! The large collection of Buddha statues that were undergoing undergoing maintenance works during the period we visited.

Omikuji and Ema – wooden plates with wishes written by visitors.

But no matter!!

As we were more then contended, being mesmerized by the red semi-circular bridge that truly deserved a photo. 

It is a truly traditionally beautiful bridge.

The temple, being very noted for it’s main hall, is noted for its main hall, which was part of the original Edo Castle, and the statues of 540 Rakan, disciples of the Buddha.
(Due to being under maintenance now, the statues are out of bounds)

This highlight (during the maintenance as mentioned above) during a visit to Kitain Temple in the past, were the Gohyaku Rakan statues, 540 stone statues of the disciples of Buddha, each with its own facial expression. 

It would be interesting to wander among the statues, which will offer good photo opportunities. 
These were previously located in a small separate courtyard on the Kitain Temple grounds.

After the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu, passed away in Sunpu – present day Shizuoka, his remains were transported to Nikko.

During the journey, a memorial service was held by Tenkai at Kitain, which resulted in the Semba Toshogu Shrine being built within its premises.
Accordingly, the three most important Toshogu shrines in Japan are the ones in Shizuoka, Kawagoe and Nikko, respectively.


Fun in the Snow

Different Types of Snow
More on the Toshogu shrine in Nikko, link above. 
Feel free to click!

Nakain Temple

To complete the tour of the Kitain Temple area, take some time to stop by Nakain: the Middle Temple, which was one temple of the initial three-temple complex. 

Nakain: the Middle Temple, exists as a separate institution today as there were 3 previously. 
 and can be reached in a five minute walk. 

The Minamiin South Temple

Ever worse, as of this time, Not much survived of the third temple, the Minamiin : the South Temple.
Thankfully, the main temple still being here – Kitain Temple is very peaceful and very beautiful.

And there were lots of different little seating areas too, which would have been perfect to sit down enjoy a little picnic.

To conclude, my favorite in the area is just that tiny Inari shrine, which was on a little island in the middle of a pond, mentioned above. 

And what makes it unique is that the Inari shrine could only be accessed by crossing the arching red bridge, one that’s truly beautiful.


Q. Can someone please explain to me what i was doing here??
A. Heehee – Sorry, I was just too bored!!
my Lollies!
Totally beautiful stone sculpture – a fountain of Dragons coiled around a Legendary Sword.
Last few pictures before i end this post!!

Totally in love with the scenery and beauty of nature surrounding me…
Goodbye Kawagoe!
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What a long day!!
Finally, home sweet home!!~
Thanks for reading!
And i would be lookin’ forward to reading your blogs too!!
Good Nights everyone!!

About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

4 thoughts on “Kawagoe – Kitain Temple

  1. Nice photos ; D

  2. […] is located in Okayama Prefecture, just beside the prefectural capital of Okayama City. Similar to Kawagoe (and the Altstadt(s)/Old Towns of Europe), the city of Kurashiki has a preserved canal area that […]

  3. […] Links to Kawagoe Below! Kawagoe – The Bell of Time Kawagoe – Candy Alleys and Festivals Kawagoe – Kitain Temple […]

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