Hodosan shrine

Hodosan shrine, one of my top ten favorite shrines of all time, is one of those rare shrines that is well worth going out of your way to visit. Apart from its intriguing 1900 year history, the beauty and detail of the shrine and the grounds will captivate you inRead More →

Kanasana shrine Kamikawa

Kanasana Shrine is a rare type of shrine that preserves koshinto, the old form of shinto worship. At Kanasana they venerate the entire mountain, Mt Mitake, as a God in the back of the worship hall. Supposedly there are only three shrines of this kind in all of Japan. Also,Read More →

Floral water font saimyouji

LGBTQ+ friendly and discrimination free 800 year old Saimyouji, Kawagoe. (The temple is also known as Yokoyama Saimyouji or Saimyoji or Saimyo / Saimyou Temple.) LGBTQ+ A few months ago I accidentally caught a snippet of a TV report of a temple, Saimyouji, in Kawagoe performing same sex marriages. OnlyRead More →

Toryu Bridge

Toryu bridge (also called Toryumon) is over the Ara River (Arakawa) in the Mitsumine area of the former Otaki Village in Chichibu, Saitama. Toryu Bridge Toryu Bridge is a footbridge at the start of the “omotesando”, the sacred trail, to the famous Mitsumine Shrine. The hike from the bridge toRead More →

CHerry blossoms at temple gate Kotokuji Kawajima

Kotoku Temple (Kotoku-ji Temple) is a temple belonging to the Shingon sect Toyozan school. According to official records the temple den, the main hall and the monastery were destroyed by fire in both Shoho and Kyoho. However, incredibly and luckily for us except for the Omido and Niomon of theRead More →

Weeping cherry blossom Nakain Kawagoe

Things to see in Kawagoe – stunning weeping cherry blossom tree and sakura at Nakain Temple in Kawagoe. Nakain is also renowned for its autumn leaves. Read More →

Yoshimi Kannon Anrakuji (2)

Anrakuji Yoshimi Kannon is one of a few temples where I personally have felt a strong presence upon entering the grounds. Whether you believe in power spots or not, Yoshimi Kannon is set in such a magnificent setting that it will awe you with its beauty, if not its mysticRead More →

Azalea Ogose at Godaison Azalea Park Godaison Tsutsuji park ogose saitama things to do in saitama azalea saitama

Azalea Ogose – beautiful azalea sightseeing spot in Ogose town, Saitama. It is a little sad when the prunus (plum, cherry, peach blossoms) finish in Japan. But only a wee bit, because right behind them comes a multitude of equally stunning flora. Straight after the yaezakura, a late blooming cherryRead More →

Unusual komainu

Komainu are usually referred to as lion-dogs in English. They are the guardian stone statues you see near the entrance to a shrine. One on either side of the walkway. One if male, one is female. Commonly one, believed to be the male one, has its mouth open and theRead More →

hatsumode saitama kitain hatsumode Japanese new year tradition

The Japanese New Year tradition of Hatsumode – Hatsumode is the first visit of the year to a shrine or a temple, an important and much practised tradition of new year celebrations in Japan. There are many shrines and temples all around Saitama where you can practise Hatsumode. Technically youRead More →