One hundred dishes of Shinsen (Sake and food offered to the deities) comprised of ingredients from the sea, river, mountains and fields, known as Hyakumi-zen are offered during the Daitosai festival held at Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine for over 300 years. Visitors are able to receive special good-luck charms such as portraits of Ohonamuchi and Sukunahikona (main deities of the shrine), lucky rakes, lucky wallets and lucky coins. The name of the festival “Daito” (which roughly translates to “large amounts of hot water”) is said to be derived from an old ritual of boiling water in a large pot in order to purify the shrine’s visitors. A market called Toka-ichi is held to coincide with the festival (only on December 10th) bustling with approximately 2,000 outdoor vendors filling the air with sounds of ceremonious Tejime calls (rhythmic clapping and chanting) and applause, selling decorative rakes and household Shinto alters.
During the Zensai (pre-festival) held from November 30th (Wed) through December 9th (Fri), bonfires are lit on the shrine’s grounds every night at 7:30. The ritual is a relic of a fire festival that was held in the past. It is said that exposing yourself to this fire will bring you perfect health with protection by deities of fire prevention.
The Toka-ichi market held on December 10th bustle with approximately 2,000 outdoor vendors selling decorative rakes and household Shinto alters in the shrine and its main walkway. The sounds of ceremonious Tejime calls and clapping fill the shrine. When you arrive at the market, make your prayer at the shrine to receive your lucky rake, and then buy your decorative rake at one of the rake vendors inside the shrine’s grounds!
Visitors are not permitted to enter into the buildings, shrubs, stage and behind the main prayer hall etc.
Please discard trash from outdoor vendors into designated garbage cans.
Eating is prohibited within the gate building (Ro-mon) of the shrine.
Please do not smoke inside the shrine.
Access to Saitama City
Omiya Station (JR Saikyo Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, JR Utsunomiya Line, JR Takasaki Line, JR Kawagoe Line, Tohoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen)
Kita-Omiya Station (Tobu Urban Park Line)
Festival location address:
1-407 Takahanacho, Omiya Ward, Saitama, Saitama Pref.
15 min walk from JR Omiya Station’s east exit or Kita-Omiya Station on the Tobu Urban Park Line (formally known as the Tobu Noda Line)