Kawagoe hachimangu Chinowa Kuguri 2020

Chinowa Kuguri and Nagoshi No Harae general information plus annual information for Chinowa Kuguri at Kawagoe Hachimangu.

I find the summers in Japan very tough. Its not so much the heat as the humidity. That is why we always escape back to Ireland. However, in 2020 and 2021 I was stuck in Japan for the summer due to the pandemic. I felt the need more than ever to do Nagoshi no Harae, a shinto ritual to survive the sultry summer…

Nagoshi no Harae

Chinowa Kuguri is a type of shinto ritual and one of the rites of “Nagoshi no Harae” often translated as “summer passing” in English. It is believed that by passing through the ring of chigaya, grasses entwined around a circle of bamboo, that it will increase ones chances of getting through the hot sultry summer in good health.

Chinowa Kuguri

Kawagoe Hachimangu

You pass through the ring in a figure of 8, or the infinity sign. Going in, go left first and then right. On the way out it is the same – left first, then right so making the 8 figure in the opposite direction to when you came in. There is a photo at the ring demonstrating how to do it thankfully. 

Ring of Chigaya Hachimangu Chinowa Kuguri

Most of the Chinowa Kuguri that I know of didn’t go ahead in 2020 because of the pandemic. Kawagoe Hachimangu’s was one of the few that did go ahead. Moreover, they had a picture of an amabie on the ring! An amabie is a half human, half fish monster. Legend goes that it emerged from the sea prophesying an epidemic. Thus, the character has become a symbol, a talisman even, for fighting Covid-19.

Kawagoe Hachimangu 2023 Chinowa Kuguri

Kawagoe Hachimangu have been practicing the traditional shinto custom of Chinowa Kuguri since the Edo period. It is a popular annual celebration. Many shrines only have Chinowa Kuguri on for one day, some for a weekend, Hachimangu’s is on for longer than most. The dates for Chinowa Kuguri in 2023 are from Wednesday June 27th to Sunday July 9th.


Kawagoe Hachimangu

In addition, the shrine is particularly beautiful during the start of the event when the hydrangea are in bloom. Furthermore, the shrine has a beautiful cleansing floral font with dragon font and seasonal flowers, as per the photo above. And in 2023, for the first time in four years, they will have their popular children’s sumo tournament the Sunday before Chinowa Kuguri starts. More information in English about the seasonal events and the shrine here (click).


Information

Event: Chinowa Kuguri Kawagoe Hachimangu 川越八幡宮茅の輪くぐり

Dates: from Wednesday June 27th to Sunday July 9th

Time: the precincts are open 24 hours, but the shrine office closes at night (open office hours).

Cost: free.

Venue: Kawagoe Hachimangu, 19-3 Minamitorimachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0045. View on Google Maps.

Access

The shrine is a ten minute walk from both Kawagoe and Hon-kawagoe stations. Parking is very limited. There are plenty of coin parking lots in the area though.

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