The remains of Fujimi turret, also known as the Mt. Fuji Viewing Tower, are a historical landmark in Kawagoe. They are located relatively near to Miyoshino Shrine and Honmaru Goten.
The very first time I visited Kawagoe, approximately 20 years ago, I traveled from Ibaraki with my then neighbor and dear friend “N”. N is a real history and art buff. And the best itinerary planner in the world! Thanks to N, we saw ALL the important historic sites that day. We’d no pediometers back then, but my aching feet told me we walked at least 20,000 steps around Kawagoe’s old town!
Remains of Fujimi Turret
It was a very rewarding tour and my love of Kawagoe started then and there. Little did I know I’d end up living in the area one day! But I do remember on that first visit to Kawagoe with N, there was one place that I found completely underwhelming: the remains of Fujimi turret. Although, the history of the turret is quite interesting, visually it is unremarkable.
When we arrived and the site was disappointingly lacklustre, I decided to take a vending machine coffee break while N climbed the stairs to the top of the mount. At that time you could walk the circumference of the mount, but nowadays the circular path is sealed off. You can only walk to the three shrines at the top, but not past them.
Like the traces of the turret, the three shrines at the top of the mount have an interesting history but aren’t much to look at. So in the last 20 years, while I’ve revisited dozens of Kawagoe’s attractions several times, I’ve completely avoided the Fujimi turret. Until this week…
I have heard that the ruins of Fujimi turret are an Autumn leaves spot. I was in the area yesterday, and although a bit early in the season I thought it was time for a revisit. There was some color but not much, so I decided to climb up to the top of the mount to pay homage at one of the three shrines. Much to my delight there was not only a hanachozu (floating flower font), but balloon art too at the pair shrines.
There are three shrines at the ruins of the turret. Two are beside each other and the third, Fujimi Inari Shrine, is behind them. The hanachozu and balloon art is in front of the pair shrines – Mitake and Fuji Asama. There is a poster beside the balloon art for a new shop “As Is”, which seems to be responsible for the beautiful balloon wrapping.
Fujimi Inari Shrine
The Fujimi Inari shrine is tiny. It looks like a portable shrine. But I noticed that there is a maple tree growing behind / over it, which is currently green. But I bet when the leaves change to orange then red the shrine will look even more picturesque. (Watch this space!) As it is, its alreay pretty as its perched on majestic rock. There are dozens of miniature fox statues … and a Rex…
The Mt Fuji Viewing Tower was intentionally destroyed when the Meiji Period started. Supposedly to show loyalty to the new regime. Ontake shrine was built in its place. There have been whispers in Kawagoe for as long as I can remember that the city plans to reconstruct the tower one day. There is a strong possibility that the rumor is well founded – this year they have reconstructed some of the moat by Honmaru Goten.
Remains of Fujimi Turret / Mt Fuji Viewing Tower 富士見櫓跡
Address: 〒350-0053 Saitama, Kawagoe, Kuruwamachi, 2 Chome−１５. View on Google maps.
Hours: 24 hours
Official web page on the Kawagoe City website.