Chinju Hikawa Shrine, a small and magnificent shrine has been watching the locals over 700 years

Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture is popular as a liveable city. While accessible from the heart of Tokyo, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, it is a residential area that can be away from the hustle and bustle.
Chinju Hikawa Shrine is a historical structure in Kawasaki City, established over 700 years ago and continues to be loved by locals.

In this article, we will introduce Chinju Hikawa Shrine, called “small and magnificent shrine” with a long history and many worshippers.

About Chinju Hikawa Shrine

History and Features

Chinju Hikawa Shrine is said to be established in the early Muromachi period (about 700 years ago) as seen in the oldest construction tag, although the truth is unknown because some people have different views. Anyway, it has a long, long history.

The precincts have been reconstructed several times due to disasters, and calmed down in the present Honden and Haiden (Main and Front Shrines) in 1986.

This wooden building has been reconstructed every 100 years for inheriting the traditional culture and the constr uction technology.
Each time of reconstruction, it raises awareness among the locals of the traditional cultures.

Enshrined Deities

Chinju Hikawa Shrine is dedicated to the husband and wife deities, the main deity Susanoo and Kushinadahime.
As Susanoo eliminated Yamata no Orochi (eight-headed giant snake), it is said to have the divine favor of good luck. Also benefits such as marriage, marital harmony and easy childbirth, because they are the couple of deities. Besides them, there are eight shrines in the precincts for the benefits of study and good health.

The precincts of a shrine

Highlights of the shrine grounds

When entering the ground, you can see the big Torii gate. This Torii was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and reconstructed in 1927. It is beautiful so as not to think that there was 100 years of history.

When heading to the shrine, on the left side, you can see Fujizuka (Fuji Mound) which is a miniature imitation of Mt. Fuji.

Fujizuka are made by using lava from Mt. Fuji and then hardening it.
During the Edo period, “Mt. Fuji worship” spread among people. However, many of them were unable to climb Mt. Fuji so they climbed local Fujizuka instead and received good fortune.

At the peak of Fujizuka, Nadeinu (dog statue) is enshrined. It is believed that people receive blessings for easy childbirth or parenting when they rub it.

With your back on the Torii gate, on the right side, there is a Yakuwari-ishi. You can be given a Yakuwari-dama at a shrine office and let’s hit it against Yakuwari-ishi. When the Yakuwari-dama is broken, it is believed to purge of wickedness.

Walk further on sando (approach), two Komainu (guardian dogs) greet you in front of the shrine.

Further to the Komainu, there is a magnificent shrine. Here, please pray to Kami with all the gratitude.

*Read this article to learn how to pray

When going through the path, there is a small forest behind the shrine.
There, you will see a big keyaki (Japanese zelkova), the sacred tree which is more than 400 years old. It’s believed as “hugging the keyaki brings good fortune” by the locals, and recognized as a power spot.

Omamori and Omikuji

On the right side from the shrine, there is a shrine office offering various fuda, omamori and ema.

Especially Yakuyokemen, Susanoo’s mask as the following image, believed to remove evil with its powerful painting.

Also ema, with a painting of enshrined deity Susanoo or unique daruma motif are offered.

Goshuin

Besides ema and omamori, they offer Goshuin too.
The design of the enshrined deity Susanoo and a powerful ink writing looks very cool!

Many worshippers actually don’t know about the enshrined deity of the shrine.
Chinju Hikawa Shrine shows a silhouette of Susanoo on their goshuin to raise worshippers’ awareness of the deity.

Also four different colors of goshuin are provided seasonally. If you gain all colors of them, you will be given a special golden goshuin. Don’t miss your chance to get such a rare goshuin!

As for goshuincho (goshuin note), they have two types; Iwamikagura and Susanoo.

Iwamikagura goshuincho is offered anytime. Both front and back covers are designed based on Guji’s sumi (ink). The color of the cover fabric is a Japanese traditional color Hiwa-iro (muted greenish yellow), which comes from a Japanese bird, Hiwa.
Susanoo’s motif is painted on the front cover, the couple deities Susanoo and Kushinadahime are on the back cover.

Susanoo goshuincho is offered in limited quantities on the 15th of each month. Designed by a world famous graphic designer, Yokoo Tadanori.
This goshuincho is made by a special weaving machine for Nishijin textile, to express his original picture called “Susanoo” faithfully.

Other features

Chinju Hikawa Shrine dedicates some paintings by famous artists or traditional crafts from various parts of Japan. It would be nice to walk around and see these votive offerings after praying.

Also, there are silkscreen and oil paintings by Yokoo Tadanori we introduced earlier. If you want to see them, please ask the staff when you visit the shrine.
*The original picture of the painting; about 200 size.

Apart from these, you can see a variety of crafts dedicated in the shrine.
For example, Iwaki-enobori, a traditional craft by Iwaki City, Fukushima Pref. has a lively painting of Susanoo. Also Kamagamisama-no-omen which is known as a lucky craft by Miyagi or Iwate Pref.
You can find them somewhere in the shrine.

Finally

Chinju Hikawa Shrine, the place has been loved by the locals for a long time.
Located in a quiet neighborhood and when you step in, you can feel the sacred and relaxed atmosphere.
Visiting there is a wonderful way to experience Japanese traditional culture, by seeing the beauty of local craftsmanship or receiving a prayer.
Also, it is easy to reach from Tokyo station.

Please visit Chinju Hikawa Shrine, for your experience that is unique to Japan!

Access

Address 332-0031 5-18-48 Aoki, Kawaguchi City, Saitama
Transportation ■Train
・25 min walk from Nishikawaguchi Stat ion on the JR Keihin Tohoku Line
・20 min walk from Minamihatogaya Stat ion on the Saitama Stadium Line

■Bus
・From Nishikawaguchi Station East Exi t-2:take the bus bound for “Asahi-Gochoum e-Junkan”, get off at “Aoki-Chugakko -Mae”.
・From Minamihatogaya Station:take the bus bound for “Nishikawaguch i-Higashiguchi”, get off at “Aoki-Ch ugakko-Mae”
(Take 7min by Bus)

■Parking
・Free parking for worshippers (32 cars available)
Official website https://chinjyu-hikawa.or.jp/