Kitain Temple

Head Temple of the Tendai Sect in the Kanto Region

Kawagoe’s Kitain Temple is a historic and significant religious site that has stood for over 1,200 years. It has played a major role during the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and continues to hold great significance for the faithful. The temple is dedicated to Jie Daishi, one of the head priests who was believed to possess magical powers to ward off evil. As a result, many worshipers visit Kitain Temple to pray for protection and seek blessings.

How to Get There

Kitain Temple is conveniently located just a 10-minute walk away from Hon-Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Visitors can easily access the temple by train and then enjoy a short stroll to reach its sacred grounds.

Over 500 Rakan

One of the most outstanding features of Kitain Temple is its collection of over 500 rakan, which are statues of Buddha. These statues were commissioned from various artists during the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1867. Each artist infused their own unique expression into the statues, resulting in a fascinating variety of characters and emotions depicted in the collection. Walking among these statues is a delightful experience, as visitors can appreciate the artistic craftsmanship and the individuality of each rakan.

The Historical Temple Room

The temple rooms within Kitain Temple are truly impressive and offer a glimpse into the rich history of the site. The visitor’s chapel, in particular, is a treasure trove of cultural properties. Here, visitors can admire more than ten historical structures, including the Daikokuten hall, remnants from Edo Castle, and Kawagoe’s Bell Tower gate. These architectural marvels provide a tangible connection to the past and showcase the enduring legacy of Kitain Temple.

Additionally, the temple grounds boast a beautiful garden adorned with a pagoda and cherry blossoms. This serene and picturesque setting adds to the overall atmosphere of tranquility and spirituality that permeates the temple. Visitors can take leisurely strolls through the garden, appreciating the natural beauty and finding moments of peace and reflection.

Nearby Attractions

From Kitain Temple, visitors can also explore the surrounding area. Just a few minutes’ walk away are the Nakain and the remnants of the Minamiin, which were the other two parts of the original temple complex. These sites offer further insights into the historical significance of the area and provide additional opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Recommended for You

In addition to Kitain Temple, there are other attractions in Kawagoe that are worth visiting. Two notable recommendations are the Kawagoe Warehouse District and Kawagoe itself.

The Kawagoe Warehouse District is a well-preserved area that showcases the traditional architecture of the Edo period. Walking through the district feels like stepping back in time, with its rows of old warehouses and narrow streets. Visitors can explore the unique shops and cafes housed in these historic buildings, offering a blend of history, culture, and modernity.

Kawagoe, as a whole, is a charming city that exudes a nostalgic ambiance. Known as “Little Edo,” it is famous for its well-preserved traditional buildings and streetscape. The city’s main street, known as Kurazukuri Street, is lined with traditional clay-walled warehouses that have been converted into shops and restaurants. Exploring this street is like taking a journey back in time, immersing oneself in the rich history and culture of the region.


Kitain Temple in Kawagoe is a remarkable and significant religious site that has stood the test of time. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and serene garden, it offers visitors a unique and immersive experience. The collection of over 500 rakan statues adds a touch of artistry and individuality to the temple, making it a truly captivating destination. Combined with the nearby attractions of the Nakain, Minamiin, Kawagoe Warehouse District, and Kawagoe itself, a visit to Kitain Temple becomes an unforgettable journey into the past and a celebration of Japanese culture and heritage.

Address And Maps Location:

1-20-1 Kosenba-machi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken

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