Hari Kuyo at Horin-ji – an Ancient Needle Memorial Service in Kyoto
Osaka, Kyoto and Kansai
Do you want to succeed in business and become rich? Then you must visit the Toka Ebisu Festival at Imamiya Ebisu shrine in Osaka, where the patron deity of commerce belongs to. You can enjoy this traditional matsuri and pray for the success in the upcoming year at the same time. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the most exciting festival in Osaka. Let’s check it out!
People from Osaka always had great negotiation skills and were famous merchants. For this reason, Imamiya Ebisu shrine, which enshrines Ebisu – patron deity of commerce, fishing and luck, remains very important for many people of that region even today. Imamiya Ebisu shrine was established around year 600 and never lost its popularity since then.
Toka Ebisu Festival is lasting for three days every year in January. The first day starts at 12 a.m. At midnight you get the “fukusasa” (bamboo branches with leaves which bring you happiness and success). You can get the branches free of charge, but the decorations are optional. So, you have to pay for it. The first day is busy from early morning till evening. You will probably admire shrine maidens – “Miko”. They wear very tidy and beautiful white attire and give out the bamboo branches to the visitors. I guess the competition to become Miko is severe as they look like from a postcard.
On the second day, which is the busiest day of the festival, you can see a parade of 宝恵駕籠 (Hoekago). It’s a basket which people used to ride in and visit the temple. Now it’s one of the highlights of the festival, and it has more than 300 years of history. You can see a lot of different people, like kabuki actors, local celebrities, geisha taking part in this parade.
The last day in the morning and the evening is the best time to take pictures with Miko or Fuku-musume (fortune daughters). They are the girls who were chosen as daughters of the god of wealth. It is one of the most sacred dreams for girls to be chosen as Fuku-Musume, but only those who have beautiful smiles will be. You can also ask them to take pictures together! Their cute smiles may bring you Fuku (happiness) as well.
Dates: January 9th – 11th, 2019. Toka Ebisu Festival takes place at the same dates every year.
Yoi Ebisu: January 9th. Yoimiya Matsuri 7:00 a.m. / Sea Bream Parade (arriving at the shrine) around 12:30 p.m.
Hon Ebisu: January 10th. Morning Sea Bream Market 7:00 a.m. / main festival 8:00 a.m. / Good Luck Palanquin Parade 9:40 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Nokori Ebisu: January 11th. Goensai 7:00 a.m.
Place: Imamiya Ebisu Shrine
Address: 1-6-10 Ebisu-Nishi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka City, Osaka
Official website (Japanese only): http://www.imamiya-ebisu.jp/toukaebisu
The nearest station for visiting this temple is Imamiyaebisu station (Nankaikouya-line) which is about 20 minutes away from Osaka station. From the station to the temple is about 170 meters or 2 minutes walk.
You can enjoy the street food along the station as well. There are more than 500 Yatai (food stalls) with various foods and games. Unfortunately, the opening and closing time is not clear, and all depends on the amount of the people that pass by. Typically, on the first and the second days, the stalls are open from early morning to midnight (around 2 a.m.). On the last day, they run until about 9 p.m. You can buy so many things from foods to Buddhist lucky charms in the stalls.
This street was made in 1903, and you can FEEL Osaka by visiting here. There are plenty of old Japanese style shops and excellent restaurants along the street so you will never get bored. You can also try okonomiyaki which is a famous dish from Osaka at a reasonable price on this street.
This is the most famous place in Osaka. Many tourists come here to take pictures with Glico sign which is one of the symbols of Osaka. Around this area, you can shop and try many kinds of street foods. You will also find various amusements such as Game Arcade or Kabuki shows.
This is the landmark of Osaka, and you can see the beautiful night view from this tower. It’s open from 9:00 to 21:00 every day. If you are looking for typical souvenirs from Osaka, it’s worth visiting. It is not so high (about 100 meters), but the friendly staff will take a beautiful picture while you are going up.
Are you excited to go? This festival is a great event to see and feel Japanese culture. You can see how important is for locals to visit this matsuri. Besides, it is a great chance to get unique souvenirs and socialize with Osaka people! Osaka is a mysterious city which has both old and new sides, and they will fascinate you so much for sure!
Similar festivals take place in many shrines all over Japan, especially in the Kansai area and Kyushu. New Year Grand Festival at Toka Ebisu Shrine in Hakata and Toka Ebisu Festival at Horikawa Ebisu Shrine in Osaka are the most popular of them. These festivals take place around the same time, so I recommend you visit and compare it!
If you would like to see this festival together with a local guide and explore Osaka from a resident point of view, please check the banner below!
Being the third largest city in the country, Osaka is one of the major gateways of Japan. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in this great city for a few days. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Osaka has it all and even something extra. In the following article, you will find 100 things to do in Osaka and many ideas on how to spend your time in the city!
Osaka is a big city with various events happening every week in different parts of the city. The cold weather doesn’t stop the locals from having fun. If you are wondering what kind of things you can do in Osaka this winter, consider hopping through various winter festivals and events. The article under the following link will introduce you to the hottest events in Osaka this winter! Check it out!
A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!
Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
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