Fairs are great, aren’t they?
As a native of the countryside, I prefer small fairs where only local people participate and most of the customers are acquaintances to large festivals. Unlike big, heated festivals, the atmosphere is more relaxed, and if I were to compare it to fireworks, I would say that it is like “sparklers. I like that kind of fair.
But don’t you have an image of fairs in summer? I don’t have an image of winter…
So, I have found a winter fair and would like to introduce it to you.
Before I get to the main topic, a little introduction to Kita-ku, Tokyo
Kita-ku, Tokyo is a ward located in the northern part of Tokyo’s 23 wards.
The population is around 300,000, and the northern part is adjacent to Saitama Prefecture, in the middle of a bedroom town and the city center. It may be practically Saitama Prefecture at the gateway to Tokyo.
This is also where Akabane is located, which people from the northern Kanto region will always be aware of when entering Tokyo!
It is a city that is currently attracting attention for its attractive lifestyle and cultural aspects, such as its easy access to the city center and its historic cherry blossom viewing spots.
The last rooster market of the year? Oji Shrine Kumade-ichi
Location: precincts of Oji Shrine, Kita-ku, Tokyo
Date & Time: Tuesday, December 6, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (rain or shine)
Access: [Train] 5 min. walk from “Oji Station” of JR Keihin Tohoku Line and Tokyo Metro Namboku Line
The festival we will focus on this time is the “Oji Shrine Kumlete Market” held in Kita-ku, Tokyo.
This festival is very small in scale, with less than 10 stalls, including those selling lucky rakes.
However, the unique atmosphere and the festival’s “biggest attraction” are the result of its small size. First of all, as mentioned above, the scale of this festival is very small.
There are only 4 or 5 stalls around the Otorii gate of the shrine, and even around 6:00 p.m., the most exciting time of the festival, there were only a few customers.
However, the stalls selling lucky rakes were continuously visited by customers, and the chants of prayers for prosperous business, which are often heard at rooster fairs, could be heard, indicating that this is a genuine “rooster market.
The biggest feature of this festival is that it is the “last rooster market in Tokyo.
The “Torinoichi” festival is usually held on the day of the rooster in November, but this festival is held in December. Also, since Torinoichi is a festival unique to the Kanto area, this festival is the last of its kind in Japan.
Although the scale of the festival itself is very small, it is a very atmospheric and wonderful festival.
In recent years, the number of small festivals has been decreasing due to the declining birthrate, and the old fair scene that used to exist in small villages and towns is disappearing.
However, this festival is very valuable because it still retains the unique atmosphere of a fair.
It is not too far from the city center, so why not visit the festival, including those who are tired of big festivals and those who forgot to buy rakes?
Information around the shrine: “I bought a rake, shall I go home? Or…”
Below, we will discuss a little about the “Oji Shrine” area. But to be honest, there is not much to cover. That’s because the fair is solemnly held by the local people. It does not have the atmosphere of a tourist spot.
The nearest exit from Oji Station is the “Shinsui Koen Exit.
The area around this exit, with its ramen shops and Internet cafes, has an underground atmosphere that contrasts with the glitz and glamour of the central exit on the other side of the station.
The photo above shows the “Shinsui Park” located just outside the “Shinsui Koen Exit.” The lights, which looked like lanterns, were arranged at equal intervals and were very beautiful. This path was connected to the path leading into the shrine grounds, which was about 300 meters long.
Incidentally, the road ended at the ward office.
The photo above is from the central exit of Oji Station.
It is on the opposite side of the shrine, but it looks like the front of the station with many restaurants and stores, so if you are thinking of having a bite to eat, please take a walk here.
Oji is also famous for a legend about a fox, and there is a festival on New Year’s Eve where people dress up as foxes and parade around the area.
Summary: Gazing at the Winter Fair
The most attractive thing about this festival. I think it is “to feel the quiet winter and the fair from an outside perspective.
The sound of the rake vendor’s voice, the sparse sound of customers’ footsteps, and the festival lights are the way to enjoy this festival.
Of course, this is also the last chance to buy a rake with a shrine’s seal of approval in Tokyo, so I recommend it to those who had planned to buy one at their company or office but were unable to do so.