Nishinomiya Shrine “Touka Ebisu”

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Kansai’s Largest-Scale Festival

Touka Ebisu is a festival held annually from January 9th to January 11th at Nishinomiya Shrine, the main shrine out of the approximately 3500 shrines in Japan dedicated to the kami Ebisu.
Ebisu is one of Japan’s Seven Gods of Fortune (Shichifukujin), and he is the god of fishing and commerce.
Every year over 1 million visitors come to Touka Ebisu, and around 600 stalls open on the shrine’s grounds and in the surrounding area.

[Nishinomiya Shrine]
[Nishinomiya Shrine]

One of the festival’s main events is the “Fuku Otoko Erabi,” or “Lucky Man Race,” that takes place on January 10th. It even is aired on national news stations!
Participants race the 230 meters from Nishinomiya Shrine’s main gate to the main hall at 6am on the 10th, and the first three to reach the finish line are deemed “fuku-otoko,” or “lucky man.” Participation is on a first-come basis for up to 1500 people.

The Touka Ebisu festival is also famous for its tradition of sticking money on a giant tuna on display to wish for fishing and commercial prosperity.
Road traffic control is put in place during the festival period, and the area is densely crowded, so it is recommended to travel by bus and train during the festival.

Basic information on Nishinomiya Shrine “Touka Ebisu”

Nishinomiya Shrine “Touka Ebisu”

1-17 Shake-cho, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo
5 minutes on foot from the south exit of Hanshin Electric Railway’s Main Line’s “Nishinomiya Station”
Dates and times
January 9th – First Day – 8 am-12 am
January 10th – Main Event – 6 am-12 am
January 11th – Final Day – 8 am-12 am