When: 10/11/14 - 22/11/14: All Day
Where: Juzaisan Chokoku-ji, 3-19-6 Senzoku
An open-air market with bamboo rakes, held on the Day of the Rooster? It must be Tori no Ichi, Asakusa’s top midnight-to-midnight festival.
As the year quickly comes to an end, Tori no Ichi, originally a harvest themed festival, heralds the end of November. It’s a chance for people to give thanks for the health and safety of their families and pray for good fortune and happiness in the year to come. The day of the rooster (tori) in the Chinese calendar comes every 12 days in November, and this year it falls on November 10 and 22.
The festival has been held in the Asakusa area since the Edo period at Ootori Jinja Shrine and Chokokuji Temple. The festivities go on for a full 24 hours, and pretty bamboo rakes (kumade) decorated in gold and silver are sold at various stalls in the shrine and temple compound.
During the Edo period, a traditional food specialty called kashira no imo (steamed taro) was very popular at the festival, and was eaten by people who hoped to succeed in business. Nowadays, only one shop sells it, but it is worth seeking out. Other delicacies to sample include a Japanese confectionary called kirizansho (a rice cake containing Sichuan pepper) and awa daifuku, a soft rice cake filled with red bean paste.
Whether you come for the cakes, a snazzy rake, or the good luck, this open air market should help you get into the holiday spirit.
Asakusa Tori no Ichi
More information: http://www.torinoichi.jp/english
How much: Free
Image: Sakura Hostel