Three of the places lit up by lanterns for the Kawagoe Night Walk 2024

This February Kawagoe will have a very special illumination event centered around Honmaru Goten, with six other participating locations. The “lantern lit night walk for adults” is on from Friday February 9th to Wednesday February 14th 2024. Not only is each of the seven locations lit by lantern, but they will also have Japanese umbrellas and bamboo lanterns at the main location. I’ve been to a similar event like this in Kawagoe in the past and it is quite romantic! It is a light up event ideal for Valentine’s night or a date on the lead up to Valentines, which is the last day of the event, February 14th!

Kawagoe Night Walk

1. Honmaru Goten

Kawagoe night light up walk February 2024

The main location for the Kawagoe Night Walk is Honmaru Goten, formerly a palace, which is part of the remains of the Kawagoe Castle. They have beautiful Japanese umbrellas, wagasa, and bamboo lights at this site, as per the photo above, on the six nights of the light up event. Honmaru Goten itself is not open, but they are lighting the building up in different colors. The color changes every few minutes. Shades include red, purple, blue and green.


2. Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe night walk Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is about a seven minute walk from Honmaru Goten. The shrine is frequently lit up for special occasions. The lights in this photo are new, modern lights, but they also have stunning old lanterns on the grounds. The atmosphere by day and night at this shrine is very different.


3. Kashiya Yokocho

Kashiya Yokocho by dusk for Kawagoe Night Walk

Kashiya Yokocho is known as Penny Candy Alley in English. It is a beautiful time slip street full of sweet shops. The shops themselves may not be open, but the alley will be lit up with street lights much like the one in the photo. Its about a thirteen minute walk to Penny Candy Alley from Hikawa shrine.


4. The Bell Tower

Kawagoe light up event this week

The symbol of Kawagoe, the bell tower will also be lit up for the occasion. Update after visiting this event on February 10th 2024: surprisingly this was the busiest of all 7 locations, with dozens of photographers gathered. It was quite hard to get a photo without people in it. I only had a three second window to get this shot and unfortunately it is blurrier than I would have hoped! But you get the gist! The bell tower is about a 5 minute walk from Kashiya Yokocho.


5. Ichibangai

Kawagoe warehouse district Ichibangai by night lit up for the Kawagoe night walk

The old warehouse / storehouse district is actually lit up with soft lights nightly, but they may have additional lanterns for this event. It really is worth seeing the old town by night at least once in a lifetime! The old warehouses are close to the bell tower.

6. Renkeiji

Renkeiji Temple Kawagoe by night

On the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the event there is also a separate event, Koedo Imo Park, on at Renkeiji Temple too. Because of this you will see dozens of festival stalls on the grounds on those nights, all shut up for the night though. Just like Hikawa Shrine, the atmosphere here is different by day and night. I personally prefer Renkeiji by night, especially when its lit up! Renkeiji is close to the warehouses.


7. Kumano Shrine

Kumano shrine by night for Kawagoe night walk 2024

Kawagoe Kumano shrine is another shrine that is often lit up during the year. They have these beautiful lanterns, as you can see in the photo, with the emblem of the three legged crow on them. Even when there is no event on, its not unusual to see people praying here at night. Kumano shrine is just across the road from Renkeiji.

Information

Event: Lantern Lit Night Walk for Adults – Honmaru Goten Light Up 「あかり灯る大人な夜散歩 -川越城本丸御殿をライトアップ-」

Dates: Friday February 9th to Wednesday February 14th 2024

Time: from 5 pm to 9 pm

Cost: there is no participation or admission fees.

Venue: Various, as above – seven of Kawagoe’s key historic sites. All of the locations are within walking distance of Kawagoe’s three main stations in the historic area, but Honmaru Goten and Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine are quite a walk. Any bus that goes to Kawagoe City Hall will leave you within a closer walking distance. The tourist buses usually go to both too, but they don’t operate at night.

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Official event page.

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