renkeiji bell tower x sakura

Each year Renkeiji plays a pivotal role in the opening ceremony of the annual Koedo Kawagoe Spring Festival. Coming up next as part of the Kawagoe spring festival is a wine festa. Cherry blossoms X lots and lots of wine! But its not the only big event on at the temple annually. In fact, there are dozens of events on at the temple throughout the year. Including, but not limited to, a flower festival each season and the popular ‘Remix’ event in Autumn and Koedo Imo Park in winter.

Renkeiji Temple Kawagoe

Renkeiji Temple in Kawagoe
Grounds of Renkeiji Kawagoe

Renkeiji is a Buddhist temple in Kawagoe. For me personally I always think of it as marking the start of the tourist district in Kawagoe. Moreover, the temple is tightly wound into the fabric of Kawagoe’s history. In addition, it is central to several of the larger events throughout the year. Not just religious events, but cultural, food and music events too. Including hosting the opening ceremony of the Koedo Spring Festival and the annual Tojin Soroi Festival. It also has an event on the 8th of every month for the temple’s market day. Sometimes its a flea market. In addition, it hosts various smaller events throughout the year…

Each season

Each season Renkeiji have a flower festival. That is, once every three months. The next one is on Sunday April 14th 2024 from 10 am to 3 pm. Official website.

Spring

Koedo X Sakura X Wa Wine

The tourist area of Kawagoe is fondly known as Koedo Kawagoe or Koedo (Little Edo) for short. Sakura is the Japanese for cherry blossoms and “Wa” is a word used to represent ‘Japanese’, in this case Japanese wine. Enjoy cherry blossoms with your wine in Little Edo. And Renkeiji has some truly beautiful cherry blossoms, as you can see in the current feature photo at the top of the post.

Renkeiji cherry blossoms

There are several Japanese wine and alcohol vendors as well as food stalls at Renkeij for the two day event. You can purchase alcohol on the grounds of the temple from 11 am to 8 pm on Saturday the 30th of March and from 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday the 31st of March. They will have tables you can use freely to stand and drink / eat. But this year the table and chairs under the cherry blossoms are a reserved area and a seat costs 1000 yen per person.

Other events on during the Koedo Kawagoe spring festival:

Autumn

There are two big events annually in Autumn. Kawagoe Remix and Tojin Soroi. Kawagoe Remix:

Tojin Soroi:


Winter

Kawagoe Coffee Festival

Each year in December at least 16 different coffee shops participate in the Kawagoe Coffee Festival. Famous coffee shops from all over the country come together and you can enjoy the unique flavors of each restaurant. Each booth sells drinks and beans. There is also food at the event. You can purchase a ticket that allows you taste four cups of special coffee from popular coffee shops!

Tea festival

The Saturday after the coffee festival, there is a tea festival. I know the coffee festival has been on in the past, but I don’t know about the tea festival. This year is the first year I’ve heard of it personally. Approximately 12 different tea rooms and tea speciality stores participate in the festival, including Nelson’s Tea, a Kawagoe tea shop that specializes in tea from Sri Lanka. There will also be a table dressing exhibition at the event. Kocha Romankan Shimano Tea Room will also participate. Kawagoe Tea Festival official Instagram page.

Setsubun

Of the religious events at the temple, their setsubun festival is popular. Unlike most other shrines and temples, Renkeiji don’t celebrate on setsubun itself, but they usually have the event in January. During the pandemic they didn’t have their usual procession and bean throwing ceremony, but both will be on in 2024 on Sunday January 28th. However you have to apply to participate by January 25th. Official event page.

Koedo Imo Park

Styrofoam sweet potato at Coedoya and also moved to Renkeiji temple Kawagoe three days a year

Imo is the Japanese for potato. It incorporates many different types of potato, but is often used to refer to what we call sweet potatoes. Kawagoe is famous for its sweet potatoes. The second ever Koedo Imo Park is on from Saturday February 10th to public holiday Monday February 12th 2024. Various baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato flavored food will be available at the event. There are approximately 50 varieties of sweet potatoes to be sampled at about 30 different street stalls. In addition, for the occasion, Kawagoe’s new giant sweet potato, pictured above, will be moved from Hotel Hatago Coedoya to Renkeiiji for the three days of the sweet potato festival.

On the same weekend as this sweet potato event, there is light up at Renkeiji and six other locations. The event is called Lantern Lit Night Walk for Adults in Kawagoe!

Information

Event: Koedo X Sakura X Wa Wine 川越お花見ワインフェス

Date: Saturday March 30th and Sunday March 31st 2024.

Time: from 11 am to 8 pm on the Saturday and from 10 am to 6 pm on the Sunday.

Cost: there is no admission fee, food / drink charged individually and a reserved seat costs 1000 yen.

Venue: Renkeiji, 〒350-0066 Saitama, Kawagoe, Renjakucho, 7−1. View on Google Maps.

Temple’s website – there are so many events at Renkeiji nowadays that they don’t add them to the temple website, only the really really big or religious events.

Wine event official post on Facebook.

Official Koedo Imo Park Instagram

Renkeiji Temple Kawagoe by night
Renkeiji by night during the Remix event

Nearby

Editor’s note: first published as Koedo Imo Park on February 10th 2023. Changed to information for the cherry blossom event and republished on February 25th 2023. Events have been added periodically throughout 2023 and 2024.

4 Comments

  1. The “yakiimo” event looks fun. I hope it doesn’t snow too much tomorrow, right?

    1. Author

      Me too. Just watching the report on TBS… they don’t really know yet, right? It may turn to rain. My kids hope it snows a lot!! Haha!

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