By David, long-term Tokyo resident & food-loving traveler
Have you visited a shrine or temple this year? It is customary in Japan to begin the year with a visit. Visiting the temples and shrines that are home to the seven lucky gods of Japan is also typically done at the beginning of January.
The lucky gods are called Shichifukujin. In Tokyo, there are several places where you can do Shichifukujin-meguri, a tour visiting all of them in one area. The Asakusa Shichifukujin are unusual because instead of seven shrines and temples there are nine places to visit. Two lucky gods are visited twice at different shrines and temples.
The Asakusa Shichifukujin course
You can visit the shrines and temples on the course in any order. The course below will take you in a wide circle through the Asakusa area, beginning and ending at Asakusa Station. If you walk everywhere it will take about 2 hours, more if you stop for lunch or coffee at one of the many restaurants and cafes here.
Daikokuten at Sensoji Temple, 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station (2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Ebisu at Asakusa Shrine next to Sensoji Temple (2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Fukurokuju at Yasaki Inari Shrine, 14-minute walk from Asakusa Shrine (2-14-1 Matsugaya, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Jurojin at Otori Shrine, 18-minute walk from Yasaki Inari Shrine (3-18-7 Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Benzaiten at Yoshiwara Shrine, 3-minute walk from Otori Shrine (3-20-2 Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Jurojin at Ishihama Shrine, 24-minute walk from Yoshiwara Shrine (3-28-58 Minamisenju, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo).
Hoteison at Hashiba Fudoson, 5-minute walk from Ishihama Shrine (2-14-19 Hashiba, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Fukurokuju at Imado Shrine, 15-minute walk from Hashiba Fudoson (1-5-22 Imado, Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Bishamonten at Matsuchiyama Shoten, 3-minute walk from Imado Shrine (7-4-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo). Then follow the path through Sumida Park along Sumida River to return to Asakusa Station.
Special goshuin stamps can be collected at the beginning of the year, but you are welcome to visit anytime during the year. Please note that at some of the smaller shrines and temples goshuin are not available everyday.
Another old Tokyo area that is interesting to explore with a Shichifukujin walk is Yanaka. Click the link below to read this related article you might like: “New Year in Tokyo, a visit to the lucky gods - The Yanaka Shichifukujin course”