Visit the Seven Gods of Fortune during the New Year
Partners Information: One Japanese tradition is the practice of “Shichifukujin-meguri”, or “visiting the Seven Gods of Fortune”, during the New Year to pray for good luck and prosperity. Visitors make their way through seven temples or shrines located close to one another, each dedicated to one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. Completing the route will take you through the neighbourhood, making it the perfect opportunity to enjoy local delights.
The Seven Gods of Fortune
The Seven Gods of Fortune are: Ebisu (Protector of Crops), Daikokuten (God of Commerce and Prosperity), Bishamonten (God of War), Benzaiten (Goddess of Music), Fukurokuju (God of Luck, Virtue and Longevity), Jurojin (God of Health, Longevity and Happiness) and Hotei (God of Fortune, Popularity and Fertility).
Within Koto City, Tokyo, there are two different courses you can take to visit the Seven Gods of Fortune:
The Fukagawa Course takes you through 3 shrines and 4 temples located around Morishita, Kiyosumi-shirakawa and Monzen-nakacho Stations. It takes about 2 hours to complete. If you partake in Shichifukujin-meguri between January 1st and 15th, you will be able to receive a special signing paper and use it to collect a scarlet seal of blessing from each location. Additionally, lucky bamboo branches and bells of good fortune (believed to dispel evil) will be available for purchase. Fukagawa has many trendy cafes as well as lively shopping streets filled with unique local stores to visit. Why not pop in for some delicacies, or enjoy a bit of shopping, as you complete your route!
The Kameido Course will take you through 3 shrines and 3 temples located around Kameido and Kameido-suijin Stations in about 1.5 hours. For this course, you can receive a special signing paper with illustrations of the Seven Gods of Fortune and a scarlet seal of blessing at each location between January 1st and 7th. The Kameido area has some great vantage points for gazing up at the Tokyo Skytree, as well as the famed Kameido Tenjin Shrine, known for granting good fortune in academic endeavours. Myriad shops praised for their traditional Tokyo cuisine like gyoza and grilled offal also dot the area; it’s the perfect neighbourhood for strolling around!
So why not start your new year off right? The Seven Gods of Fortune in Koto City are waiting for you!