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Pinwheels Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

July 4 @ 09:00 July 18 @ 21:00

Pinwheels Kawagoe – 風車・川越氷川神社。Update on June 21st 2020: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine confirmed that they will not display the pinwheels this year. Update on July 2nd: the shrine did a 180 and decided to display some pinwheels from the 4th of July. However, they will not be on the scale of previous years. And the shrine has requested that people do not loiter to take photos. Please note there will be no glistening river this year. 

On April 9th 2020, the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine had a note on their website to say they plan to go ahead with annual events. However, on May 26th they updated to say, while they hope to go ahead, there is a chance they won’t be able to. On that date they also wrote that they had put the hoardings up for the pinwheels, but that does not mean they will definitely go ahead with the event. They are preparing in the hope that they can. As of June 4th, they have still not confirmed or denied or set a date for the 2020 pinwheels. June 21st they announced they weren’t, then on July 2nd they suddenly announced they will have a smaller version of the usual event. And the pinwheels will be on display from tomorrow, July 4th! 

Pinwheels Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Last year in May, 2019, thousands came to see the pinwheels in Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine in celebration of Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne. However, while it was the first year that Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine had a pinwheel display in May, it was not the first or only time you could see pinwheels in the famous Kawagoe shrine.  

Photo of red and white pinwheels commemorating the accession of Crown Prince Naruhito to Emperor at Kawagoe Hikawa SHrine may 2019 saitama japan

Every year Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine has a pinwheel display in the month of June. For the special event in commemoration of the Emperor’s ascension to the throne the pinwheels were red and white, but usually they are a pale blue and white and a light purple and white. The pinwheel event that preludes the wind chimes was introduced around 2016. It is held annually during the month of June.

Pinwheels Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine has always been a popular shrine. But when they introduced a summer wind chime event in 2014, the number of annual visitors multiplied exponentially. It became on of the key places to visit in the summer and firmly put itself on the best list of things to see in Kawagoe. The wind chime event has proved to be an extremely popular event and put them on the international map, attracting more expat and foreign visitors more than ever before. The pinwheel event is surprisingly still not that well known. 

Pinwheels Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Access pinwheels and wind chimes

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is normally open from 9 am to 9 pm in summer, but this year (2020) due to the coronavirus they are not having any of their night events. 

Address: 2-11-3 Miyashita Machi, Kawagoe, Saitama Phone: 049-224-0589

You can walk from Hon-kawagoe or Kawagoe stations along a tourist route, but it takes about 40 minutes. There is a tourist bus or a regular bus that will bring you close. There is free parking for 300 cars. 

Source: An account of visiting the wind chimes

Official website


Hikawa Shrine

2 Chome-11-3 Miyashitamachi, 宮下町
Kawagoe-shi,, Saitama-ken 350-0052 Japan
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Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

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