photo：Kstigarbha on wikimedia
Asakusa, the most popular and famous tourist attraction in Tokyo is host to the Asakusa Tori-no-ichi, an event that dates back in the Edo period and is a popular winter attraction of Kanto area. The event attracts many people seeking for good health, happiness and good business in the approaching New Year.
November 10th, 2014 marks the beginning of this event and also the beginning of the New Year celebrations.
Asakusa Tori-no-ichi is held at Washi Jinja Shrine, and Chokoku-ji Temple at the same time.
Washi Jinja Shrine
Famous for Tori-no-ichi event since the Mid-Edo period (1700-1799).
The most famous Tori-no-ichi was held in this temple in the Late-Edo period (1800- 1868).
A very popular event for people who expect their prayers to be answered by both God and the Buddha, on this auspicious occasion and hence attracts many visitors.
photo：LuxTonnerre on flickr
The streets are lined by shops of local vendors where “Kumade” is a must-buy souvenir sold in large numbers.
photo：masaki21bg7 on flickr
If you want to buy a Kumade and enjoy the shopping process, both at the same time you should follow the following three points:
1. Find a high-spirited Kumade vendor;
2. Negotiate the price (it is considered to be cool if you give the discounted amount as a gratuity to the vendor), and;
3. While you receive your Kumade, make sure the vendor gives you a celebratory clap along with it, a gesture believed to bring happiness in the upcoming year.
Kumades, come in all shapes, kinds, colours and designs. So, selecting your favourite Kumade is another way of enjoying Kumade-shopping.
photo：Yuichi Sakuraba on flickr
Many designs are specifically to wish for prosperity in business, and for driving off the slow economy.
The event also offers many other entertainments:
Ame-ya (Candy sculptor)
Dressed in a costume resembling the Edo period, the candy sculptor creates excellent candy-art with the help of grip scissors. This craftsmanship is rarely visible in daily life and is worth a watch!
Edo Iri-mame (Roasted Beans)
Enjoy, hot Sake with freshly roasted beans! (Perhaps, many visitors will surely go after this?!)
Open-air Izakaya Stalls
photo：Yoshikazu TAKADA on flickr
Asakusa Tori-no-ichi is held for 24 hours only. The open-air Izakaya stalls though many in number; yet, may have limited admission from time to time due to the evening rush of visitors crowding the event venue.
Wouldn't you like to visit Asakusa’s annual event, Tori-no-ichi?
Event dates: November 10th, 2014 (Mon),
November 22nd, 2014 (Sat.)
Event time: 0:00～24:00
Venue: Asakusa Tori-no-tera (Washi Jinja Shrine, Chokoku-ji Temple(Asakusa Tori-no-Tera)
For details: 03-3872-1667 (Tori-no-Tera /Chokoku-ji Temple)