Sunday, February 23, 2014

Osaka Toka Ebisu: Business Prosperity Festival

I was googling things to do in Osaka for our last day there, and came across this "Toka Ebisu Festival" at the Imamiya Shrine.  Oh cool, a festival at a shrine, let's go check it out!

The Festival happens on Jan 10th, with over 1 million visitors visiting the shrine every year. Locals bring fresh bamboo and buy lucky charms to hang on the branches. They also bring last year's bamboo to dispose of, as apparently keeping it for over a year brings bad luck.

The highlight for me is the Good Luck Parade with geishas and good luck girls. They are all chanting and singing and the overall mood was so festive!

So apparently if you're chosen to be a good luck girl, you'll end up getting lots of marriage proposals… seems a bit superficial, but then again, I'm not in a position to judge other people's cultures and customs!

Outside the shrine, stalls are set up to sell charms and snacks.  This reminds me of a night market in Toronto.  We went during the day so it wasn't too busy, but I think it will be more festive at night.

Event: Toka Ebisu Festival
Location: Osaka Imamiya Shrine
Cost: Free!
Overall impression: Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Osaka during the Festival.  :)

Other Japan trip reports