Ukishima Inari Shrine is an unassuming shrine you pass on the walking route from Miyoshino Shrine heading to Naritasan and Kitain Temple. It is not particularly well known or adorned, but it has some beautiful trees including some gingko trees and other trees that are golden in November and create a golden carpet as they shed.
The shrine also has a (small) play area. Kawagoe Kita-in Temple’s autumn leaves are the most famous in Kawagoe, but if you would like to see some golden leaves too there are a few places you can see them. Such as here at Ukishima Inari Shrine. The aforementioned Miyoshino Shrine as well as Hachimangu and Shusse inari Shrine are some of the other places you can witness the vibrant yellow colors. The latter, Shussse Inari Shrine, is particularly famous for its gingko.
Ukishima Inari Shrine, Kawagoe
Supposedly they named the shrine, because it looks like a floating “uki” island “shima”. There are many different versions and theories online about the history of the shrine. I don’t want to be ‘incorrect’, so I will stick with what is undisputed: that the shrine is at least 330 years old. Also, the stone torii (as in the featured photo at the top of the post) was erected in 1826 and the main and front shrines were rebuilt in 1915.
The grounds of the shrine have a beautiful water feature and old stone bridge, which unfortunately have been blemished with a vulgar white fence, pictured below, that’s in dire need of a lick of paint.
The playground is small, but has enough to give kids a quick break from touring Kawagoe. There are swings, a slide, a spring ride and a sand pit.
On our most recent visit the kids actually preferred crunching the stunning bright yellow leaves of the resplendent trees. A beautiful natural golden carpet as you will. This post was written in 2015, but I visit annually in Autumn. My most recent visit was November 7th 2022 and the trees are already yellow. I imagine you will be able to see the golden carpet of leaves in another two weeks.
Ukishima Inari Shrine, 浮島稲荷神社
Address: 350-0055 Saitama, Kawagoe, Kubomachi, １７−626
Hours: 24 hours
Ukishima Inari Shrine is down a small side street, but what makes it worth noting is its location between two key areas in Kawagoe. The shrine is located on the walking route from Honmaru Goten and Miyoshino Shrine to Naritasan Temple and Kitain. The latter, Kitain, is particularly stunning in Autumn in the gardens of the house where the room Iemitsu was born was relocated too from Edo castle.
There is kind of parking, but it seems to used only by regulars of the shrine. Plus its hard to access as it is off a narrow road. However, the shrine is a manageable walk from the Kawagoe free tourist parking lot opposite Hatsukari Park. Please note that since 2022 there is no longer free parking at Hatsukari Park. Actually, they have unfortunately gotten rid of most of the free parking lots in Kawagoe over the last two years, or made them coin parking lots.
#NaBloPoMo Post #29
For more information about things to do and see in Kawagoe, please see the Kawagoe Guide.
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