Beautiful Summer Event: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine’s “Enmusubi Furin”
One Japanese summer tradition is “Furin.”(Wind chimes) It is hung under the eaves in summer since long ago. Whenever the wind blows, the Furin produces a melodious tinkling and it makes us feel cooler. In the times when there weren’t such things as air conditioners, people used Furin to create a cooler atmosphere in hot and humid summer in Japan. That sprit has been inherited until now, and many of Japanese people want to have cool feeling with the sound of Furin when summer comes.
The General Outline
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine in Saitama prefecture has gathered a lot of followers as the God of Marriage and helped bring people together since ancient times. They started the “Enmusubi Furin”, a summer event in 2014. This year, the event will be held from July 9 (Sat) to August 31 (Wed), 2016.
A new area called “Furin Kouji” (alley) has been introduced this year. The clear glass Furin with Tanzaku (to be explained later) which has a shrine crest of Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine on it is distinctive from other Enmusubi Furin. They send prayers of love into the Milky Way and provide a moment of coolness and comfort for people to enjoy in the summer evening at the shrine. This is a very popular festival with various things to see and more than 10,000 people come to visit every year.
Place to visit 1: Symbol “ Furin Kairo” (Corridor of Wind Chimes)
The corridor where you feast your eyes on countless numbers of Furin in 11 different colors is a symbolic area of the “Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine Enmusubi Furin.” Worshippers write their wish on to the wooden strips called Tanzaku and then tie them to the Furin. While walking through the corridor accompanied by the magical sound of Furin, you can pray that your wish will come true. Here is the place where you can feel the taste of summer in Japan.
Place to visit 2: “Amano gawa no negai goto” (Prayers of the milky way)
There will be the Goshinsui (sacred water) stream, where the image of the Milky Way is projected on to the water surface. The multicolored and star sparkling water surface produces a romantic moment for lovers.
Place to visit 3: Takemari Furin Objet
The ball-shaped bamboo ornaments called Takemari decorate the shrine. The colorful Furin and LED lights in the takemari provide a fantastic atmosphere. You become mesmerized by the objet that are a complete match with the Japanese atmosphere of the shrine and it allows you to forget about the heat in the summer night.
Place to visit 4: Limited time offer Colorful Furin Sweets
During the “Enmusubi Furin” festival in Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, neighboring “Musubi Café” offers special sweets. You can enjoy the “Irodori Furin” (colorful wind charm) a fruit based sweet shaped like Furin and some other sweets that are offered for a limited time. Stopping by this café to have a rest after visiting the festival is highly recommended. Information: Map
We are having extremely hot days in recent years in Japan but let’s beat the heat and experience the serene sense of summer in Japan at the “Enmusubi Furin” festival in Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine.