Kawagoe's Kita-in Temple is over 1,200 years old and played a major role during the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Today, Kita-in Temple holds great significance for the faithful. Jie Daishi, one of the head priests enshrined here, was believed to have magical powers to ward off evil. Worshipers visit the temple in order to pray for protection.
Kita-in Temple is a 10-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line.
The most outstanding feature of the castle is its over 5000 rakan, or statues of Buddha. The statues were commissioned from various artists during the Edo period (1603-1867) and each artist gave the Buddha a slightly different expression. Today, these hundreds of small statues, each with its own character, are fun to walk around and look at.
The temple rooms are impressive and the visitor's chapel contains a great deal of history. They're home to more than ten cultural properties including the Daikokuten hall, structures from Edo Castle, and Kawagoe's Bell Tower gate. The temple grounds also include a beautiful garden with a pagoda and cherry blossoms.
From Kita-in Temple, you can also walk just a few minutes and see the Naka-in and the remnants of the Minami-in, the other two parts of the original complex.