The Yanaka Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage



2021.01.05 (Tue)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Happy New Year!
I hope that 2021 becomes a happy year where everyone can shine.

For our first post of the year, I'll write about the Yanaka Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage!

The Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage is the act of worshiping the temples that house the Seven Lucky Gods.
The Seven Lucky Gods are seven gods believed to bring fortune in Japan: Ebisu, Daikokuten, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Hotei, Juroujin, and Benzaiten.
They have been worshiped since the Muromachi period over 450 years ago, and are regarded as the gods of different powers, such as good fishing hauls, prosperous business, money luck, long life, and so on.
This period at the start of January is known as "Matsu no Uchi" in Japan, and it is believed that gods visit our homes to bring us good fortune. It means that if you visit the Seven Gods during this period, you will have even better fortune, so that’s why the Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage is popular especially at this time of the year.

The Yanaka Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage is what you visit the temples in this area that enshrine the Seven Lucky Gods: Togakuji Temple, Seiunji Temple, Shushoin Temple, Choanji Temple, Tennoji Temple, Gokokuin Temple, Kaneiji Temple/Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple.
It is the oldest such course in Tokyo.
While they are conducting it at a smaller scale this year due to the COVID-19, the seven temples and shrines are accepting worshipers and you can receive a Goshuin if you visited them until 10th January.
*Goshuin is a piece of paper bearing a scarlet seal that proves you visited the temple.

Take this opportunity to visit gods for good fortune.

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