Tokyobling's Blog

Torinoichi at Otorisama

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on November 24, 2014

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.






12 Responses

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  1. Grigoris Miliaresis said, on November 24, 2014 at 5:11 am

    I was arguing with some friends who had a stall in the Tori no Ichi that it is a perfect example of how the Japanese think: if you are a non-Japanese (or an out of town Japanese for that matter) you go to the Otori Jinja on Tori no Ichi day(s), see the HUGE crowds, assume that you have to wait in line to get it and, of course, leave. There is nowhere any sign (not even in Japanese -let alone in even bad English) explaining that the waiting lines are for those who want to worship at the shrine and that those who just want to visit the fair and wander around the stalls and/or buy a kumade can completely bypass them and enter through one of the several entry points scattered around the shrine and obscured by the food stalls or through the Chokokuji temple next door. It’s a shame, really…


    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 2:29 am

      I actually did go in from the exit point, but it was still too crowded to be meaningful for me so I decided to leave. And I was kind off hoping to be able to worship (it would have been my second time). I will return someday when it is not so crowded. (^-^) Have you noticed that the shrine is called Washijinja on Google Maps? Google Maps get a lot of names wrong in Taito Ward especially…. (^-^;)


      • Grigoris Miliaresis said, on November 25, 2014 at 2:45 am

        To be honest, I couldn’t believe that an old hand like you wouldn’t know about the back doors but I thought it’d be worth mentioning -like I said, this isn’t exactly public information – but yes, if you want to worship, you need to go through the lines. Late at night is better though, especially in the eve of Ichi no Tori: if you’re there around 22:00-23:00 the crowd will be considerably thinner. (Ni no Tori is a little more crowded). I hadn’t noticed the one about Washijinja on Google Maps -thanks for pointing it out. They probably opted for the by-the-book translation but shitamachians have a different book!


        • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

          I think you are the old hand hand when it comes to Asakusa! I am a mere sprig in the water here! (^-^) Yes, it thins out later. This was also my first torinoichi on a weekend, previous years I tried to go on weekdays when it is much less crowded. Washijinja is not the worst example though, it is fixed now but up until last year’s summer Tawaramachi Station was called Tawaracho Station on the Google Maps. (^-^;)


          • Grigoris Miliaresis said, on November 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

            LOL. Thnx for the compliment; I’ll accept it and wear it as a badge of honor coming from you! As for “Tawaracho” vs “Tawaramachi”, well, there isn’t much I can say about that but I’m in a good mood (I just received a high accolade) so I’ll pretend the good people of Mountain View know that the chokai is called “Tawara-chokai” so they went for the abbreviated version occasionally used by the area’s old-timers. (Yeah, right.)


          • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 9:02 am

            Hahaha… I will believe that when they call the “Yamanote line” the “Yamate line”. (^-^)


  2. Sterling Media said, on November 24, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Tokyo must be an amazing place for a photographer, so many wonderful images and moments to capture, The photographs are awesome. 🙂


  3. pk1154 said, on November 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Two days without fresh Tokyobling; I was getting worried!


    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 2:31 am

      Thanks for noticing! You are the only one! I decided, after five years of daily posting that it was time to cut down a little, so I stopped posting on Weekends from last weekend. It will save me for hours of work per week and about 80 hours unpaid blogging per year! (^-^)


      • pk1154 said, on November 25, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        Do what is best for you, always.

        (But if you decide to take a week off or change your schedule to three times a week, I hope you would consider posting what another blogger I follow calls a “housekeeping note” about it!)


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