Asakusa Tori-no-ichi Fair
Wondering what else to do in Tokyo this November? In case you’re in the area—or planning to go there—you’re just in time for the Tori-no-ichi Fair in Asakusa.
Tori-no-ichi is a traditional festival that happens in November during the Days of the Rooster (6, 18,30). As part of Asakusa tradition, the fair is dedicated mainly to selling rakes…yes, rakes!
But not just the usual, run-of-the-mill rakes you get from your average hardware store. During the fair, a horde of rake-selling shops sell rakes believed to bring good fortune, wealth, and prosperity. Aside from praying for good luck and abundance, the festival is also a way to give thanks for safely making it through the year.
The Reason Behind the Rakes
It isn’t every day that you get to hear a festival fully dedicated to glorious rakes, right? We get that it’s a mystery for most people so we’re here to lay down the details.
This age-old festival has been around since the Edo Period, taking place in Asakusa ever year. Rakes symbolize the act of raking in luck and fortune—gold, silver—for business owners in Japan; hence, the rakes (Kumade). The bigger the rake, the better.
The lucky rakes come in different sizes. The bigger the rake, the better. You can also choose from a large selection of intricately designed rakes—cute cats and pandas, treasures, gold coins, gold bars.
An Immersive Experience
The festival kicks of with something locals call, Ichiban Taiko. It’s the first drum you’ll hear by midnight of November 6, 2017. The festival then pulls off an all-nighter which lasts for 24 hours around Ohtori shrine. Aside from hundreds of rake-selling shops, strategically placed food stalls spread around Ohtori shrine.
Don’t be the one to break tradition, complete your lucky rake-hunting experience by haggling the price with a shop owner. Well, you still need to pay for the rake in its original price and decline the change from the shop owner. This sounds like nonsense but something worth the try.
As a sign of appreciation for haggling and still paying the full price for the rake, you’ll hear rhythmic clapping and lively cheering in honor of your kindness.
The Fair’s Schedule
The number of celebrations each year differs depending on the number of Rooster Days in November. This year, there are three Rooster Days. So in case you can’t make it to the Ichi-no-Tori held on November 6, 2017, you can still score yourself a lucky rake or two during the Ni-no-Tori and Sa-no-Tori events.
Ichi-no-Tori | Monday, November 6, 2017
Ni-no-Tori | Saturday, November 18, 2017
San-no-Tori | Thursday, November 30, 2017
Asakusa Tori-no-ichi Fair
(Chokokuji Temple) 3-19-6 Senzoku, (Ootori Jinja Shrine)3-18-7 Senzoku Taito-ku
SummaryWondering what else to do in Tokyo this November? In case you're in the area—or planning to go there—you're just in time for the Tori-no-ichi Fair in Asakusa.
November 6, 2017