Autumn

Tori no Ichi Fair 2019 – Grab Your Luck for the Next Year in Asakusa, Tokyo!

Ryogo

Kawamata

Writer

Tori no Ichi is the festival and an open-air market taking place in Juzaisan Chokoku-Ji Temple every November in Tokyo. Locals also call that shrine Otorisama or a shrine of Tori. The shrine is in the Taito area, the same district as Asakusa. This festival is one of the biggest festivals where you can enjoy the Autumn of Tokyo and feel that winter is coming. From this article, you will learn more about the long history of this event and find out how you can enjoy this annual fair.

You probably should know that Tori is in Japanese means bird. Ichi means a market, or festival, therefore this is a bird festival. Regarding Tori no Ichi, Tori here implies for a rooster according to Chinese Horoscope. In the old days, Japanese people imported many things from China. For example, before we started to communicate with China, we didn`t have letters. So, Japanese people adapted Chinese letters – Kanji. Kanji originally came from China, and then Japanese invented Hiragana and Katakana on their base. This is how Japanese writing evolved.

History of Tori no Ichi Fair

According to the shrine’s history annals, “Amaterasu” – the major deity of Shinto religion had died at the place. “Amenouzume” – the goodness of dawn danced over her the grave. Many gods were looking at her dance. One god that played the guitar got a bird on the top of his instrument. Other gods saw this and thought that it is a meaningful thing. So, this legend lies in the origin of Otori Shrine.

Yamato Takeru – a famous Japanese prince, went to pray to this shrine before he fought against the enemy. He succeeded. Then, he came back to Otori shrine to appreciate the god of the shrine, so that he dedicated his weapon which was a rake. Yamato Kakery was famous to defeat his enemies by cross-dressing as a maidservant at drinking parties. From then, Torinoichi fairs became famous for its lavishly decorated rakes (kudame – in Japanese) all over Japan.

About the Festival and the Fair

The festival held in November, and only on the day of the rooster according to Chinese horoscope. It is a 12 days cycle, that means, that the fair may take place either twice or three times in November depending on a year. The festival usually starts with a sound of the taiko drum and then, the festival lasts until midnight. The first Festival day is “Ichinotori,” the second one is “Ninotori” and the third day is “Sannotori.”

Things to Do at the Festival

If you have a chance, you may want to buy some unique souvenirs. As for this festival, I recommend you buy a beautifully decorated rake, that is supposed to bring you good luck. You will be able to see over 300 rake stalls at Tori no Ichi fair. The rakes can cost from 1000 to around 200,000~300,000 Yen. Therefore, it depends on how much you can spend on the rake and how much luck you want to grab. However, the rakes that cost around 20,000~50,000 Yen are the most popular at the festival. If you can speak Japanese or brave enough, you can negotiate with the stall seller, and have a great shopping experience.

If you don`t need a kumade rake, just walking through these rake stalls is just fascinating. Don`t forget to take a camera with you to capture the atmosphere of the festival and those masterpiece rakes as they are all unique. Besides, you should see the hand clapping ceremony when someone purchases a kumade!

Not only rake stalls welcome you at Tori no Ichi Fair. You will have a great chance to try the delicious festival food at the food stalls (Yatai) as well. Yakitori, Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Mochi and a great variety of sake and local beer are waiting for you until late at night.

Details and Access

Place: Juzaisan Chokoku-Ji Temple (or Otorisama)

Schedule: Usually 2-3 times every November. In 2019 the fair will be held on November 8th and 20th. The dates vary from year to year. So, be sure to check the days in advance. If you want to participate in the ceremony, you must sign up before 12:45 PM. The service starts at 1:00 PM. The place you sign up is in the shrine.

Official Website (Japanese only): http://www.torinoichi.jp/

Address: 3 Chome-19-6 Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Access:
Tokyo Metro, Hibiya line, Irie station NO 3 north exit: 7 min walk
TX Tsukuba Express, Asakusa station: 8 min walk
Tokyo Metro, Ginza line, Tahara station: 15 min walk

Concluding Remarks

This festival is great for those who would like to see and touch Japanese culture and history. It is easy to access, and you can get unique souvenirs there. Besides, Otorisama is very close to Asakusa. So, you have a great chance to explore even more of traditional Japan. Come to Tokyo in November, get your bamboo rake at Torinoichi Fair and enjoy good luck for the whole year!

If you would like to visit this festival with a local guide who can show you something extra in the Asakusa area or anywhere in Tokyo or Japan, please click on the banner below!

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/7726/ 

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They are confused 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!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

For all foodies who enjoy Japanese Festivals would be nice to get acquainted with the rich choice offered by Yatai (Japanese festival food stalls). The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

Ryogo Kawamata

A uni student study at Tokyo. Hobby: Watching movies Playing video games

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