3rd September 2015: Kawagoe & Omiya {Japan, summer 2015}

For my last full day in Japan I set off to Kawagoe. Not coming from downtown Tokyo, I did not take the JR line, so when I came out I could not grab a map. Thus, I had to brave it and get on with it – as my phone did not recognise where I wanted to go. Wohoo, orientation adventure. And yup, you guessed it – I got lost. However, this time it was a fortunate loss, because I ended up at the Seiya-san Muryōshuji Kita-in [星野山無量寿寺喜多院] temple complex, which I had marked as ‘maybe on my way back’ originally. It was a very lucky turn, because I met up with a very nice Japanese lady who explained the complex to me and with whom I made friends. She showed me around the premises and recommended the museum – and the 500 disciples of Buddha Sculpture Garden – Gohyaku Rakan [五百羅漢寺], which I loved to pieces.

Kita-in Temple main building with the pagoda in the background:

Kita-in Temple Complex: Gohyaku Rakan:

Kita-in Temple Complex: Amazing main building:

Hakusan Gongen [白山権現], adjacent to the Kita-in Temple Complex

After saying my goodbyes and checking the museum, I headed off towards the area called Koedo [小江戸] (Little Edo), stopping around to check on small temples and shrines. Koedo features black buildings that survived WWII bombings because the pilots thought they were burnt already. This was the main thing I wanted to visit, and I was surprised at the fact that I met very few Westerners here. I guess it was due to my visiting on a weekday. The most famous street is the Black warehouse district, Kurazukuri no Machinam [蔵造りの町並].

I found the Clock Tower, Toki no Kane [時の鐘],

Once I was done wandering around Koedo Kawagoe, there was something else I wanted to check, the main Hikawa Jinja [氷川神社] in Omiya [大宮], a district in Saitama [埼玉], which was fortunately on my way back. There were huge koi in the pond there.

Afterwards I just headed home for some ramen and nice company as good-bye for now. See you next reload, Japan!