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Asakusa events for Nov. 24-25: Tori-no-Ichi and Kutsu no Megumi Matsuri Ichi

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2018.11.22 (Thu)

Kutsu no Megumi Matsuri Ichi Shoe Festival

This festival is all about shoes.

November 24 & 25, 2018

9:00 - 17:00 at Tamahime Inari Shrine

2-13-20 Kiyokawa, Taito, Tokyo

The area around Asakusa is Tokyo’s shoe central. And local shoe makers come together for this annual event at Tamahime Inari Shrine. As a way to express their thanks for the shrine’s protection and blessing, the shoe makers set up a market at the shrines. Many vendors put their goods on sale for a high discount. This is not a flea market. The discount is the vendors’ way of saying thanks. You can buy new shoes and other leather goods at the market, including bags, wallets, and belts.

Two very unusual mikoshi (portable shrines) are paraded around Tamahime Inari Shrine and nearby streets as part of the festival. The Kutsu Mikoshi are shaped like shoes. Other parts of the event include a memorial service for old worn-out shoes, saying goodbye and thanks to beloved footwear. The priests also pray for the good health of participants feet.

Tori-no-Ichi Fair 2018

Come to this market to get good luck for 2019.

Visit the third and last day of this year’s Tori-no-Ichi Fair at Otori Shrine on November 25, 2018. The event is a market for lucky items called Kumade, highly decorated bamboo rakes. These rakes are supposed to rake in good luck and prosperity. Check out the Kumade vendors who set up their stalls on the grounds of Otori Shrine and also explore the surrounding streets. The event takes takes place from 00:00 to 24:00.

Many of the small streets around Otori Shrine will be closed for traffic during the Tori-no-Ichi. And then this usually quiet residential area turns into one big street food paradise. Hundreds of stalls are selling festival foods and drinks. Come hungry and try the many savory and sweet treats here. You can watch vendors prepare Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, and Yakisoba noodles. Some vendors even have seats and turn sidewalks and parking lots into outside izakaya bars. For dessert try some freshly baked castella cakes or maybe chocolate covered bananas. You can eat your way through the streets all the way to Otori Shrine.

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