Ebisu Shrine, Toka Ebisu Taisai

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After the New Year events, “Toka Ebisu Taisai” is the first important festival held in Kyoto from January 8 to 10. Ebisu is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. He brings fortune for fishing, farming, commerce and trade. Ebisu is depicted as a short, little fat man, wearing a pointed hat, holding a big fish, in general a red sea bream. He has a smiling face. He is also popular among restaurant owners, and often his figure or lucky charms are displayed in the kitchen. The “Ebissan” Festival, friendly called by Kyoto people, is held in a little shrine in Yamato-Oji street, south of Shijo street, between the Minamiza Theather and Hanamikoji street. The main street is full of vendor stalls, selling food, toys, charms, etc. It gets very crowded, everybody is wishing for success and prosperity!


A Maiko without her typical make-up from the next street Miwagacho, one of the Geisha district.

Big frozen tsuna

A big frozen tsuna is displayed in the main shrine, people pray for good luck.


A Miko, a maiden in the service of a Shinto shrine, dances to purify the bamboo branches. They will be adorned with many charms chosen by the devots.

Selling charms

I have to say that the Shinto traditions and rituals keep us busy going from a festival to another one, and I hope this year too will be a successful year!

Charms come in different sizes and prices

This year is the Sheep year according to the Chinese calendar.