Sunday, December 4, 2011

Swaying Lanterns


The entrance to Hanazono Shrine (花園神社) looked like this a couple of weeks ago.

The decorative lanterns, which have the names of various people and companies that have donated to the shrine written on them, can only mean one thing...MATSURI!!! (That means "festival" in Japanese.)

The Otori Matsuri (大酉祭) is an annual festival in November. Many people come to pray and enjoy the various food stalls set up but the main highlight of the festival is the Tori-no-Ichi (酉の市). It is called "Rake Fair" by some as many stalls selling various types of Kuma-de (熊手), a decorated rake made out of bamboo, for "raking in" wealth and good fortune. We really like these word games here in Japan.

The Tori-no-Ichi is always held in November on the days of the Rooster according to the Oriental Zodiac, which means that we have 2 or some years 3 days to enjoy this festival. I went on the 26th of November, which is called "San-no-Tori (三の酉)," the third and last day of the Rooster on the calendar.

I'll have more photos of the Kuma-de for you tomorrow!


15 comments:

  1. Your blog made me want to join the festivals in Japan! I didn't know about the "rake fair" though....very interesting! Thanks for giving me an opportunity to learn about them. Nice photo Kaori as always :)

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  2. Those lanterns are lovely! They certainly give a festive ambiance.

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  3. It sounds like fun. It's a strange thing to my eyes to see the entrance to a shrine between two high-rise buildings!

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  4. What fun! The lanterns are beautiful.

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  5. beautiful lanterns display :)

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  6. The owner of an izakaya I used to frequent would get the largest kumade he could carry, it seemed. The day after payday this is what I might have been able to afford.

    That tree-lined side entrance to Hanazono Shrine looks so inviting. It is nice just to take a quick stroll if one has the time. Are the ginkgo trees turning brilliant yellow now like at Google Maps street view?

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  7. I've always been curious about that shrine. Now you've persuaded me to go. I've missed the chance to rake in wealth, drat!, but I'm sure there will be many more festivals.

    Tall Gary, yes, Tokyo is turning into gold. I think the ginkgos in Shinjuku (near the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower) will be at their best this week. Maybe Kaori will take a few photos! Nudge nudge hint hint.

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  8. How wonderful picture ! Thank you for this interesting journey. Please have a good new week ahead.

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  9. They'd be flying away here it's so windy! They are lovely!

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  10. I wouldn't mind raking in some wealth and good fortune myself! I HAD wondered what the characters on the lanterns were when I saw them... now I know! Wonderful perspective on the top shot, Kaori!

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  11. I'm glad you're back, Kaori! And I am sorry to hear about your grandfather, but it is great that you have such wonderful memories of him and that y'all could gather to celebrate his life with joy. - The lanterns are beautiful! I love the symmetry of the first photo!

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  12. Nice perspective on both shots Kaori, happy Otori Matsuri, hmmm I think I might just be a little too late!!

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  13. I love these lanterns, they are so beautiful!

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  14. Spectacular mix of old a new...

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  15. I'd prefer a lantern actually. The rake seems too big! I love lanterns...

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