Asakusa Tori-no-ichi (San no Tori)

(浅草 酉の市(三の酉))

台東区, 東京都 Pref.

Over 100 Years Night See Tokyo

About the festival

Tori-no-ichi is a market held at Otori Shrine in Asakusa, Tokyo. 
The “Ichiban-taiko” drums struck at midnight signaling the beginning of November’s day of “Tori” kicks-off the market held for a duration of 24 hours. Tori is the rooster in the twelve Zodiac signs (a sequence of animal names used in Asian cultures for counting years, months, days, hours as well as the azimuth direction). When the day of Tori occurs twice in November, then that year the market is called “Ni-no-tori” (second Tori). If it happens three times, then they are called “San-no-tori” (third Tori). The market changes its name and frequency yearly. Markets with the same format are held all over Japan, yet the Tori-no-ichi at Otori Shrine is known as the most famous, having continued for such a long time. 
Approximately 100 outdoor stalls line-up inside the shrine to sell “good-luck rakes” (which are said to “gather" good fortune), as well as 800 more stalls selling food outside the shrine’s grounds. The rakes are meant as ornaments that bring good-luck and prosperity in business. Check out the great variety in their designs, size and decorations. The Tori-no-ichi markets are truly a seasonal tradition, bustling with people getting ready for the end of year.

118 Reh Asakusa Tori No Ichi

Things to do

1. Check out the simple “Kakkome” and the colorful “good-luck rake”

118 Re1 1 Asakusa Tori No Ichi
118 Re1 2 Asakusa Tori No Ichi

They both are rake-shaped signature talisman sold at the Tori-no-ichi market, which are meant to “gather up” good fortune. Kakkome are handed out inside the shrine, and good-luck rakes (“Engi-kumade” in Japanese) can be purchased at the stalls. The good-luck rakes come in all shapes and designs, and people choose theirs according to their budget and wishes. The rule is to buy a new one every year. While some wish for the stability in their business by purchasing the same sized rake each year, most people choose to upgrade to a bigger rake every year in order to pray for the growth of their business. Take your time, and find that special rake for you!

2. Enjoy the Japanese rhythms!

118 Re2 1 Asakusa Tori No Ichi
118 Re2 2 Asakusa Tori No Ichi

You will hear rhythmic hand clapping coming from and around the rake stalls. These claps are called “Tejime.” They are clapped in unison with a rhythm of 3,3,3 and 1, in order to wish together for business prosperity. If you buy a large rake, the shopkeeper will clap with you. If you hear a “Yooooo!!” call, that signals the start. Clap along together!

3. Yatsugashira and Kirizansho; eat them for good-luck!

Large taro known as Yatsugashira are sold at the Tori-no-ichi market. They are regarded traditionally as a symbol of good-luck and social success, as well as bringing the blessings of many children (because of the many sprouts each taro puts out). Another famous specialty is the Kirizansho, a Mochi (rice cake) sweet made with powdered Sansho (Japanese pepper). 

Sansho is Japan’s oldest spice, and it is regarded as a symbol of efficacy since the entire tree (leaves, flowers, nuts, trunks and barks) can be used without any waste. Please try them!

4. Watch the divine eagle’s descent to Tori-no-ichi

118 Re4 1 Asakusa Tori No Ichi
118 Re4 2 Asakusa Tori No Ichi

You are able to witness a traditional dance known as “Otori-mai” during the festival. A dancer rids festivalgoers of evil spirits by vigorously dancing with a sharp-eyed eagle mask, holding the three sacred imperial treasures (mirror, sword and jewel that appear in the Japanese mythology) in his right hand and a rake with a Okame (traditional female mask) in his right. Otori-mai can be viewed inside the shrine as well as the 瑞鷲渡殿 during the following times.

First appearance: Shortly after midnight (following the Ichiban-taiko)
Second appearance: Around 6 PM
Third appearance: Around 8 PM
(starting times are tentative)

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates Ichi-no-tori Market held from 0:00 AM to midnight on November 6th (Mon), 2017

    Ni-no-tori Market held from 0:00 AM to midnight on November 18th (Sat)
    San-no-tori Market held from 0:00 AM to midnight on November 30th (Thu)
    
Held annually on “Tori” days of November
  • Place Otori Shrine
  • General Participation Anybody can freely visit and observe
  • International Reception and Info. English pamphlet available
  • Wi-Fi Available only in the vicinity of the shrine’s main office
  • Restrooms Available
  • HP

    http://www.otorisama.or.jp

  • Contact Otori Shrine (recorded guidance/information in Japanese)
    03-3876-1515 / 03-3876-0010

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

You may not be able to pass through every street due to police traffic control.

Making prayers at the shrine may take hours during peak times. The shrine becomes congested with people.
Please be careful not to lose sight of your children.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Accessing the festival

Otori Shrine
Address: 3-18-7 Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo
[nearest station]
Iriya Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Walk straight ahead from Iriya Station’s 3rd exit, take a right turn at the first traffic light, cross the intersection at the end of the street, and you will be in front of the shrine.
Toei Bus (都08・草43・草63) Senzoku bus stop
From the bus stop, walk straight in the direction that the bus came from, and the shrine will be on your right.  (There will be crowds of people from the station and bus stop heading to the festival)

Emiko Izawa
Writer
Born in Shizuoka. I love Sushi, Sake, Shrine, Stationary and Stage!