The good relationship between Tenkai and the shōgun transcends from the following event. In 1638, the temple burned and Tokugawa Iemitsu donated some structures from Edo Castle to the Kita-in. A canal was even built on purpose to convey them all the way from Edo to Kawagoe. Some of these structures, including one said to be Iemitsu's birthplace, can still be seen today, notably the Senba Tōshō-gū Shrine (仙波東照宮) at the southern end of the compound.
There are enough temples and shrines in Kawagoe to keep you busy a whole day. They are fairly spread out around the city and waling from one to the other can be time consuming, which is why few tourists bother to visit more than those at proximity from the Kurazukuri neighbourhood and Kita-in Temple.
There are about 15 Buddhist temples and 3 Shinto shrines in a 500m radius from the Kurazukuri street. Among them are the Hōzen-ji, Gyōden-ji, Yōjū-in, Kenryū-ji, Kannon-ji, Honnō-ji, Dairen-ji, Kōsai-ji, Jūnen-ji, Eirin-ji, Myōyō-ji, Myōshō-ji, and Renkei-ji. This last one is probably the most interesting, although the Yōjū-in is also quite big.
The Honmaru Goten palace (本丸御殿) and the castle park are located in the north-eastern section of town, 500m due east of the Toki no Kane. This is also where you will find the City Museum (川越市立博物館) and City Art Museum (川越市立美術館). Follow the river to the north to reach the Hikawa-jinja Shrine (氷川神社), surrounded by cherry trees. Further north are two other Buddhist temples, the Tomyo-ji and Shingyo-ji.
Moving south from the castle park or Kurazukuri street towards the Kita-in Temple, you will first pass the large Betsu-in (別院), which is the local branch of the Narita-san Temple, one of the largest and most influencial temples in Eastern Japan. Immediately south of the Kita-in compound is the delightful little Naka-in, founded by the great religious leader, Jikaku-Daishi Ennin, in 828. Its gardens are remarkable and can be enjoyed differently at each season of the year.
The southern part of the city has yet more temples and shrines, including the Chōtoku-ji, Tennen-ji, Sengen-jinja and Kawagoe Hachiman-gū, although none are exceptional.
How to get there
The fastest and cheapest way from Tokyo is from Ikebukuro Station. The trip with the Tōbu Tojo line takes about 30 min and cost 450 ¥. Alternatively the Tokkyuu Koedo train from Seibu Shinjuku station will get you there in 45 minutes for 480 ¥ (watch out not to take the slower Kyuukou train which stops 16 times instead of 4).
Map of attractions in Kawagoe