Kawagoe is a city of history and traditions! If you have a chance to go there, you shouldn’t miss to visit the seven Gods of good luck in each temple called “Shichifukujin meguri”. This short journey sounded like bring me good luck! So, I tried to walk around to pray at the seven local temples for the first time. Shichifukujin refers to the seven deities of good fortune that originate from Indian, Chinese and Japanese religions. And the belief of the seven Gods is unique to Japan in that they’re thought to grant human requests and bring good fortune. The history of the belief came around in the middle of Muromachi period (1336-1573). First, Ebisu-ten and Daikoku-ten were worshipped, which are the most well-known Gods of the seven. Then, Bishamon-ten, Fukurokujujin, Banzai-ten, Jurojin and Hoteison were worshipped during the Edo period. The belief of the 7 Gods gradually spread among ordinary people.
Let me introduce.. The 7 Gods!
~ From India! ~
Bishamon-ten is dressed in full armor and a helmet. His stubbly bearded face brave♥ He is a guardian deity who brings courage to your heart and wealth to you.
Benzai-ten is the only female God in this group. This Goddess is the God of
beauty who brings eloquence, art, property and wealth. She is worshipped by
merchants and artists.
Daikoku-ten carries a "wealth-pounding" wooden mallet in his right hand and holds a treasure sack over his left shoulder. He is a household deity who brings good harvest and fertility . If you are diligent and pray for him, he will grant you great wealth.
~ From China! ~
Fukurokuju-jin is characterized by his elongated forehead and long whiskers! He is the God of three virtues: Fuku “happiness", roku, "wealth" and ju, “longevity”. It is said that he knows every person’s life span.
Juro-Jin looks cute in his hood and has a white beard. He is the God of longevity and protects people from illness.
Hotei-son is a bold man with a big smile on his face. It is said that Hotei
was a real person and was a Zen monk, in ancient China. He carries a big bag on his shoulder that he puts an offering in. Hotei means ‘bag of clothes’.
By the way, he is different from the famous Japanese guitarist, Hotei ;)
~ From Japan! ~
Ebisu-ten is the only one whose origins are purely Japanese. The name of
Ebisu is well-known for Beer. He is originally the guardian deity of the sea.
He wears fishermen's clothes such as the typical hat, a fishing rod and he
holds a large fish(sea bream) in his hand. Now, he is also known as the God
of trade. If you wish your success in business, you should pray to him ^^
If you complete the pilgrimage to The Seven Lucky Gods, you could make
your all wishes like longevity, wealth and happiness come true!
The walking tour of Kawagoe Shichifukujin meguri starts from Kawagoe
station and I recommend the route below.
1.Myōzenji temple (Bishamon-ten) → 2.Ten’nenji temple (Juro-Jin) → 3.Kitain templ(Daikoku-ten) → 4.Naritasan-betsuin temple(Ebisu-ten) → 5.Renkeiji temple(Fukurokuju-jin) → 6.Kenryūji temple(Hotei-son) → 7.Myōshōji temple(Benzai-ten).
The scenic route takes about one and a half hours to walk.You can also enjoy the whole day if you worship by the specific rules in every temple, take photos and enjoy the local food. Each temple has “SUIKINKUTSU”, which is a type of Japanese garden ornament that gives you the peaceful sounds of water droplets falling from bamboo pipes into a musical chamber. This was
developed by a master of Japanese tea ceremony. I really want you to enjoy the mystical sounds! Feel free to approach the tall bamboo that extends from the ground. If you put your ear to the openings, you can hear the tranqui echoes of the water.
When you take a break or have a lunch while strolling around, I recommend a cafe named “Cafe Hanakage” which is close to Kitain temple. This cafe serves a delicious spicy beef curry! This curry comes with rice and some small dishes. I added Onsen tamago(soft boiled egg) into the curry. It made the taste mild. I loved it!
You can also have experience wearing wear Samurai armor and a helmet in this cafe. After enjoying the good curry, why don’t you become a Samurai in the historical city Kawagoe?