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Tori no Ichi: Taito City’s Top Autumn Festival



2022.11.03 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

Today we introduce Asakusa's amazing Tori-no-Ichi festival, a popular autumn festival that attracts crowds each day it is held.

Celebrated annually since the Edo period, the Tori-no-Ichi is held all over the Greater Tokyo Area, and in Taito City, mainly at the Chohuku-ji Temple in Asakusa. Traditionally it is held on the days of the Rooster in November. This year, Tori-no-Ichi will be held on November 4, 16 and 28.

The lowly rake, originally sold as a farming tool, has transformed into a symbol of luck and the symbol of the Tori-no-Ichi Festival, and is now sold as a lucky charm. Purchased with the hope that your business will “rake it in,” the rakes now come in countless varieties and designs, with fans, portable shrines, animals and more adorning the rakes.

Towering walls of colorfully decorated and packaged lucky charm rakes are brightly lit creating a sense of awe and excitement for visitors who come to join in the festivities and make a lucky purchase. Equally impressive pole lantern-like displays show the names of sponsors of the festival.

The festival also has a unique system of haggling which involves giving the discounted amount to the shop clerk as “a gift” whereupon the shop staff will treat you with a unique display of appreciation.

This festival is also a reminder that the New Year is coming soon. Even in November, you will hear shopkeepers wish customers and friends a “happy new year!” throughout the festival. So come join the festivities on any of the three dates! Enjoy the electrifying atmosphere and find your own lucky rake in preparation for the new year!

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