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Hagoita-ichi Fair

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  • 11
  • 2017

Asakusa, known for its unique and interesting festivals, attracts not only locals but festival-goers around the globe. The most popular? The Hagoita-ichi Fair, a three-day annual winter carnival celebrated at the Sensoji Temple every 17th of December.

What’s In a Name?

Hagoita is a boxy paddle made out of wood, cedar to be exact. It was traditionally used to play a Japanese New Year game called Hanetsuki, somewhat comparable to a badminton game but without the net. Throughout the years, the customary game has lost its luster. So, to commemorate the sport, the Hagoita-ichi Fair is held each year.


Image result for sensoji temple

Sensoji Temple is one of Japan’s oldest temples, earning its place as one of the country’s National Treasures. As the fair is held in the temple’s vicinity, the festival serves as an excellent opportunity to explore the temple and revel in the beauty of Japan’s traditional edifice.

As part of the annual festival, more than 50 open-air stalls sell decorated hagoita, shuttlecocks, Daruma dolls, and other New Year ornaments as thousands of people stroll around to feast their eyes on these awesome works of art.

The hagoita sold at the fair are decorative pieces, which means they’re not meant for playing Hanetsuki.  The items are said to bring good luck and great fortune.

【少年と少女たち、ロボットとモンスターたち / A Boy and Girls, a Robot and Monsters】 ■『大空魔竜ガイキング』の空気ビニール人形、赤ちゃんをあやすためのセルロイド製ガラガラ(赤ん坊の顔がついたチューリップ状)、卒園記念ハンガー(エスエス製薬マスコット「ぴょんちゃん」の2代目デザインを真似たもの?)、ウルトラ怪獣「バラゴン」(ブルマァク社製品のバンダイ復刻版)、羽子板(6種いろいろ。1つは布生地を立体的に張りつけてあり特にオシャレ)、戦前の少年が自作したと思われるスマートボール、カエルのろうそく、ウサギロボット(全身がピカピカと光り輝き、ギャンギャンと奇声を発しなが、走り回る優れもの)、『はいからさんが通る』のお弁当箱(未開封) 購入先はいろいろですが、インスタグラムにアカウントをお持ちなのは以下の3店舗です(お尋ねいただけますと詳細をお答えできます)。 @kyoto_showa_retro_ippoudou @maikoantiques @yaneurabeyanocircusdan ☆タグ☆#昭和 #ロボット #昭和レトロ #ノスタルジー #羽子板 #空ビ #レトロ #駄玩具 #ソフビ #古物 #レトロポップ #怪獣 #レトロ雑貨 #ガーリー #古道具 #骨董 #Japan #MadeInJapan #Kyoto #VintageToys #sofvi #robots #hagoita #JapaneseCulture #retro #nostalgia #nostalgic #art #collector #collection

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The ornamental paddles are hand-painted while the decorative characters are handsewn and stuffed for a pillowy effect. Designs vary from kimono-clad geishas, gods & goddesses, cartoon characters, to movie and TV stars.

As part of the seller-buyer tradition, sellers praise their buyers by chanting and shouting accompanied by loud clapping once a sale has been successfully completed. A one-of-a-kind occurrence you’ll only get to experience when you’re in Japan.

How to Get There

From Tokyo Station, ride the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line going to Asakusa. Travel time is approximately 12 minutes.

If you’re making your way to Asakusa from Shinjuku Station, ride the orange JR Chuo Line going to Kanda Station and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa. You’ll get to Asakusa in 10 minutes.

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When you get off at the Asakusa station, you’ll reach Sensoji Temple in 10 minutes, on foot.

Location Details


Hagoita-ichi Fair


Sensō-ji 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032 Japan

Event Date

December 17, 2017

Hours & Fees

Free Admission | 9:00 - 21:00

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