Posted by: 栗本奈央子(Naoko Kurimoto) 23 Oct 2017

God of marriage, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine: This month's shrine

God of marriage, Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine: This month's shrine © N.Kurimoto

"The shrine of the month" is a project that a journal-loving reporter that authors and others have begun to teach others more about the charm of shrines. Once a month we will introduce a shrine for the next sit months. We will introduce various shrines throughout the country from amulets to shrines that are related to famous historical figures.

Profile for this month's shrine

Name: Hikawa Shrine (common name: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine)
Festival of God: Susanohonomikoto, Oddi Inada Hime (Kushi Inada Hime no Mikoto), Legmaikous Breast (Ashinutsu no Mikoto), Tama Breasts (Tenatsuchinomikoto) Omamoto Takashi (Ohnamuchi Nomikoto)
Margin: marriage, home safety, family satisfaction, etc.

Total guardi an of Kawagoe, praying to the god marriage since ancient times.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is about 10 minutes by bus from Kawagoe Station and is a historic shrine that was built in the Kofun Period about 1300-1700 years ago and continues to be worshiped today. It is the "total guardian" that guards the entire Kawagoe area. Here, there are two couples of gods who represent marriage and family peacefulness, and the five pillars of Daigo Takami which are also gods is enshrined.

At Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, there is a "good-match praying festival" from 8th day of a month at 8 am and on the 4th Saturday, twice a month. 8 is considered a good number for relationships. Because there are many people praying for good relationships, they start 4 or 5 years before, with 80 participants each time. Participants visit from all over the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa, so it is often more practical to divide into several times when there are many people. On August 8th this year, 541 people gathered in one day, it was the highest record.

On the 4th Saturday of October, I experienced a prayer festival. I arrived at the shrine 30 minutes before the start, but the precincts were already full of participants. I got a number tag in exchange for the ceremony fee to pay to the shrine, but I think that more than 80 people were already in line by that time. By the way, although the amount of the ceremony fee is not decided, it seems that there are many people who feel it matters, such as 2,951 yen (Fuukoi = Fukuoka) or 4,150 yen (Yoigoen = good relation).

When the time comes, they call your number and you enter the hall of worshipers in order of being called. About 90% of the participants were women in their 20s to 30s, and there were also some pair of men and women. You sit with a serious expression and wait a few minutes. The priest enters and it is finally starts with the sound of the drum. You listen to the sound of a bell called Suzu which the shrine maiden will shake after receiving spiritual cleansing first, after listening to that, the God will be given a celebration of a charisma and you will receive the virtue. In accordance with the priest, 2 bows 2 clapping hands 1 bow, all participants and prayed for good relationships. At the end there is a story from the priest, and about 20 minutes later the prayer festival is over. Unlike usual praying bells in front of a hall, we were able to concentrate on prayer in a solemn atmosphere.

We prayed for good-relationships, and participants were given a godsend and an amulet

Participants at the prayer festival can get a talisman, an amulet of marriage, an ema (wooden tablet of a horse), etc. Also, you can have a marriage ball based on the legend that "If you take pebbles in the precincts and care for them, you will be blessed with good relationships".

These are white stones the shrine maiden carefully wrapped in linen, and had the priest bless them. 20 of these are handed out every morning at 8 o'clock to even those who don't participant in the actual festival. Saturdays and Sundays are especially popular, and it seems that there are times when you can have a queue from before they distribute it.

In addition, the office has various amulets based around love. Every one is very pretty, and it is very easy to buy as general merchandise There are lots of people who buy them for friends, I also purchased 2 or 3 items as souvenirs. When items are received, the shrine maiden will ring the bells so that you can receive the blessings from the God. You can feel their sense of caring even for those who just came to get a single amulet.

A powerful spot for love

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine where many people come from around the country to prey, mainly women. In this shrine, There is even a tour package exclusive to single ladies. In the recent years spiritual and power spot popularity has sky rocketed, plus its a good spot to pray for love, so how about attending such shrines as one of your sightseeing spots?

栗本奈央子 / Naoko Kurimoto

栗本奈央子 / Naoko Kurimoto

This is Naoko Kurimoto.I'm reporter for the Travel Vison; online travel trade media.I'm really into Shinto shrine!