There’s a secret behind the Main Hall! The New Year’s Festival in Tooka Ebisu Shrine.

Hi everyone! This is HIDE from Bura Bura Fukuoka!
During the four-day period from January 8 to 11 of every year, a New Year’s Festival is held at Tooka Ebisu Shrine in Hakata city, Fukuoka Prefecture. The beginning of a year at Tooka Ebisu Shrine starts during this festival, and over a million worshippers visit for good luck and a thriving business.
During the festival, around 300 street stalls line the shrine’s approaches and a lottery where you can win good luck charms is held. This is a big event to mark the new year in Hakata city, prospering as a town of merchants.

2017-01-06   Destinations, Events, Fukuoka,


【 CONTENTS 】

Don’t miss the secret spot in the shrine deeply linked to merchants!

Tooka Ebisu Shrine is considered to have originated from a historical event.
In 1591, the Hakata merchant Goemon Takeuchi happened to find two Ebisu deity statues on the beach, on his way home from his New Year’s shrine visit. He built a shrine pavilion to dedicate the two statues, and after this, his family business became prosperous.
The two deities are:Kotoshironushino-Okami, or the Deity Ebisu, the deity of success in business. Okuninushino-Okami, or the deity Daikoku, the deity of marriage (the divided tutelary deity from Izumo Taisha Shrine).
Please don’t miss their two stone statues behind the main hall, which are usually only known by those who are familiar with them. They are principal images of worship at this shrine. If you visit them and the main hall, you might receive a double blessing!

Stone statues of the deities, Ebisu (right) and Daikoku, both behind the main hall.
Stone statues of the deities, Ebisu (right) and Daikoku, both behind the main hall.

The New Year’s Festival at Tooka Ebisu Shrine is crowded with worshippers every year.

A long waiting line for worshipping
A long waiting line for worshipping

The four-day period from January 8 to 11 of every year called, Shogatsu Taisai or New Year’s Festival, is held at this Shrine and over a million worshippers visit.
The 8th is called “Hatsu-Ebisu”, the 9th is “Yoi-Ebisu”, the 10th is “Hon-Ebisu”, and the 11th is “Nokori-Ebisu”.
During the festival, worshippers get purified in front of the altar and a lottery is held, where you can win good luck charms. You can also enjoy buying lucky charms and eating hot snacks such as Yakitori at about 300 different street stalls.
Due to the large number of people, the amount of money offered and the purchase amount of the lottery adds up to an enormous sum.
After all, everyone wants to be happy!

The event schedule for the New Year’s Festival is here(Japanese text only)

You’ll be excited just seeing the long line of street stalls!
You’ll be excited just seeing the long line of street stalls!
A stall selling lucky charms
A stall selling lucky charms
Cute paper fortunes shaped like the sea bream, “Medetai-mikuji”. The Japanese name of a sea bream is 'tai', and 'medetai' in Japanese means joyous.
Cute paper fortunes shaped like the sea bream, “Medetai-mikuji”. The Japanese name of a sea bream is ‘tai’, and ‘medetai’ in Japanese means joyous.

The lottery is the most popular event during New Year’s in Hakata.

It’s filled with crowds of people waiting for lottery tickets.
It’s filled with crowds of people waiting for lottery tickets.

The popular event of this festival is the lottery.
Booths to provide lottery tickets are set up along the approach and lottery tickets are sold for 2,000 yen. The prizes are various lucky charms, such as large and small bamboo branches, bamboo rakes to collect luck, daruma dolls as a bringer of good luck, and oriental zodiac dolls. When someone wins the large bamboo branch, the ticket booth staff shouts “Big win!”, in celebration.
This lottery gets more popular year after year and It is not unusual to wait an hour for a ticket.
Why don’t you read your business fortune for the new year?

Amazing “Kachi-mairi”, where Hakata geishas parade around the precincts.

A splendid scene, where many geisha in black crested kimono parade throughout.
A splendid scene, where many geisha in black crested kimono parade throughout.

Another highlight of this festival is “Kachi-mairi”, held from 3:00pm on January 9.
The parade of Hakata geishas wearing black crested Kimono starts at the entrance of Higashi park and proceeds down to the shrine to pray for good luck and prosperous business for the year.
The parade is guided by musicians playing shamisen, as well as flutes and tambourines, which have become very popular among foreign tourists in latter years.
The beautiful geisha procession of the new year is a feast for the eyes!

This festival is busy, late into the evening.
Please visit the festival to feel a little happiness!

Additionally, visit Kushida Shrine in Hakata for The Hakata Gion-yamakasa during summer!
Visit Kushida Shrine during the New Year for longevity, success in business, and romance!

*“Hakata machi aruki Bura Bura Fukuoka” offers historical experiences for foreign visitors in Japan, Foreign guides, arrangements for a Kimono wearing experience, and other services.
For more details, please see http://en.burabura-fukuoka.jp/(Japanese, English, and Chinese websites are available).

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I've started the Hakata City Walk business for foreign tourists since 2015 in Fukuoka prefecture. My dream is to transmit the appeals of Fukuoka and Kyushu where richly endowed with nature, history and culture to the world.

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Address 7-1 Higashi-koen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka city, Fukuoka Prefecture
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Access ●5-minute walk from Chiyo Kencho Guchi Subway Station
●5-minute walk from Yoshizuka Station on Kagoshima Line
Phone 092-651-1563
Website http://www.tooka-ebisu.or.jp/ (Japanese text only)