Sunday, December 4, 2011
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!