The record said Kitain was established in Nara period. The official establishment was in 830 by Priest Ennin by the order of Emperor Junna. In 1301, Emperor Gonara entitled Kitain "Seiyasan." Because it was located in important location, Kitain was involved in many war.
In 1599, Priest Tenkai succeeded Kitain. He met Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1611. Tokugawa Shoguns had donated many times with full of respects. In 1638, there was fire disaster in Kawagoe and most of buildings in Kitain were burnt down. 3rd Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu, donated his building of Edo castle and removed from Edo castle to Kitain. That's why there is the room of the birthplace of Iemitsu in Kitain.
Because it has 1200 years of history, there are many historical relics and treasures in Kitain. Most of them are registered as the important historical properties.
500 Rakan Statues
500 Rakan Statues were made from 1782 to 1825. There are 538 statues and each one of them has different face and facial expression. Legend said, there is always one looks just like you.
Kitain is also one of one of 7 lucky God spots. It enshrines Daikokuten.
Note: There is construction going on right now. Some or entire building might be covered or closed for public. Please check out their web site to make sure those information.
DONOT take photograph at inside of building.
Offcial Web: http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/english/