Enjoy the festival atmosphere of Japan’s popular event – Tōka Ebisu!
After visiting a shrine/temple for the new year (Hatsumōde), the Japanese participate in a popular festival called Tōka-Ebisu at the Ebisu shrine. There are about 3,500 Ebisu shrines all over Japan, but the headquarter is the Nishinomiya shrine in Hyogo prefecture.
Ebisu, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese folklore, is known as the god of good fortune and prosperity. Ebisu is often portrayed holding a fishing rod with a large fish, which is a symbol of abundance.The festival usually draws in big crowds of people wishing for prosperity for their business and commercial success (although this year, precautions such as social distancing will be practiced due to the current pandemic).
We visit Nishinomiya shrine and will feature rituals believed to bring prosperity. We’ll witness the traditional practice of buying lucky bamboo branches called ‘Fukusasa’. These branches are decorated with different lucky charms to attract wealth and prosperity.
There are many events at Nishinomiya shrine for the Tōka-Ebisu such as the offering of hot water ceremony by geishas in Arima Onsen, early morning running competition to select the year’s Fukuotoko (lucky man), and offerings to the big tuna where people place their coins onto the tuna wishing for good financial fortune for the year. Unfortunately, these events are cancelled or scaled down this year due to Covid. However, we can still witness the cultural aspects of this unique Japanese festival and enjoy the cheerful atmosphere.
Come join me and let’s pray for a more abundant 2021 with caution!
- Walk through the Nishinomiya shrine premises and look inside the shrine
- Learn about unique Japanese rituals associated with attracting wealth
- Enjoy chatting and Q&A