The last of the Torinoichi visit photographs for this year. It is a great tradition to watch, for both locals and tourists, with the clapping, the rhythmic chanting, the colorful and over the top kumade decorations on sale and of course the food stands selling everything from grilled fish to bottles of beer. If you missed it this year you can set your alarm clocks for the 2015 dates, starting one minute past midnight on November 5th, 17th and 29th. Enjoy!
Having hurried all the way to Asakusa and then down all the way back to Shibuya on the last day of this year’s Torinoichi market, it was time to go up to Shinjuku and visit the most festive of the Torinoichi markets, at Hanazono Shrine. I have blogged about this one many times before, as it is the most accessible of all the markets. This year’s second market day was even busies than last year when we had three, and since it was on a Saturday it was even busier still!
The second shrine I tried for the Torinoichi on the 22nd of November was the Miyamasu Mitake Shrine in Shibuya. It is a tiny little shrine hidden well off and well above the main street near Miyamasusaka between Shibuya and Omotesando. Compared to the big torinoichi markets in Otorisama in Asakusa or the Hanazono shrine in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district it is much smaller and not nearly as well known and the line to worship at the main shrine building was much shorter. Having met with a bit of success, finally, I decided to move on to the main “party” shrine of the Torinochi markets, in Shinjuku. Use the tags to find other posts explaining the Torinochi traditions properly!
This year’s second and last Torinoichi fell on a Saturday, and I figured the crowds at the original Torinoichi market temple would be immense but I was obviously not taking this seriously enough. When I arrived there were lines stretching towards the main entrance from both directions and there were signs that lots of people had spent a long night waiting in line. I have visited many Torinoichi markets in Tokyo but this was my first visit here. Next year I will have to be earlier! There was no way I was going to get in within any reasonable amount of time so instead I decided to head to the Torinoichi shrine in Shibuya, but that will be the subject of another post later this week! You can read more about this shrine and the tradition of the Torinoichi here.