Located in Matsue-cho, Shusse Inari’s history is expressed by their sacred tree: two towering gingko trees that you can find at the entrance of the approach, which are estimated to be over 600 years old. The main shrine, built in the Dozo (Kura) Style of architecture, peculiar to Kawagoe, was able to escape a fire from a conflagration in 1890. It is also known as Icho-Inari (Gingko Shrine) and Dai-icho (The Big Gingko.)
This shrine is located near Renjakucho Crossing. It was separately enshrined from Kumano Jinja Shrine in Kishuu Prefecture (now Wakayama and Mie Prefectures) by a second priest named nenyobuno and, since then, has been revered as “Ujigami (a guardian god in the area)” by residents of the Matsugo area. It is also known for the “Torino-ichi” (market where “kumade” good luck charms for businesses are sold), which is held on December 3 every year. Hoping to promote the health of people, Kumano-Jinja implemented “Ashibumi Kenkou Road (Healthy Stepping Road),” a pathway with many pebbles embedded. (It is supposed to be beneficial to health by stimulating the soles of one’s feet to improve blood circulation.) Many shrine visitors enjoy this.
This shrine is located in Saiwai-cho at the center of the castle town Kawagoe. It is said that, on a night of heavy snow, a white fox showed up on Minami-cho street, but people killed the white fox and ate the meat. After that, they caught the plague, and huge fireballs were seen in the town every night. They believed those incidents occurred because they were haunted by the white fox and decided to enshrine the fox to avoid such a curse. They buried the skin and bones of the fox in a mound and dedicated it as Yukizuka Inari, named for the weather on the night the white fox appeared. (Yukizuka means “snow mound” in Japanese.)
Enshrined behind the Toki-no-Kane, this is the symbol of Kawagoe. It used to be Yakushido Temple, separately enshrined from Hitatinokuni province (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to be “Ichigami (guardian deity of the marketplace)” in the Genna Period. (Genna spanned 8 years, from 1615 to 1623.) In 1623, it was relocated to the present location and became a Tendaishu temple, called “Zuikousan Iou-in Jourenji.” Later, due to the “Shinto Butsuri (Shinto-Buddhism separation,)” it discontinued the service as a temple and persisted as a shinto shrine, Yakushi Jinja. After the Kawagoe Fire, only the Yakushi Statue was secured and the main shrine pavilion was destroyed. It was rebuilt to the present building the next year.
The famous Warabe-uta (Japanese nursery rhyme,) “Tooryanse” is originated from the approach of this shrine. There is a monument to the “birthplace of Warabe-uta” on the shrine grounds. The monument is located in front of the Kawagoe Castle Hommaru Goten and behind the grounds of the Hatsukari Kouen Park and has been beloved by the public as the setting for the song. It is said that it was built in the beginning of the Heian Period and the existing shrine pavilion was established in 1624, which is a designated cultural property of Saitama Prefecture.
This shrine is located in Kubo-cho, named for its low landform. (“Kubo” means low-lying depression in Japanese.) It has existed approximately 330 years. It established the Stone Torii Gate in November 1826 and rebuilt the Shrine Pavilion in1849. It is named after the landscape: the whole area is a swamp and the shrine looked just like a floating island from a distance. (“Uki” and “Shima” means “float” and “island” in Japanese respectively.) It was renamed in the beginning of the Meiji Period, to “Ukishima Inari Shrine” and the main and front shrines were rebuilt in 1915.
The Hiyoke Inari, located in Renjaku-Cho, was separated from Kumano Shirine and the official name is “Sho-Ichii Hiyoke Inari Daimyojin.” It is said to have already existed at the beginning of the Meiji PeriodIt is known that the Kawagoe Fire of 1890 was quieted down at this location. (Hiyoke means “Fire Prevention” in Japanese.)