The Hozuki Market at Tokyo’s Atago Shrine (Atago Jinja) is a spectacular annual event steeped in tradition, belief, and symbolism. Held on June 23rd and 24th, 2023, this vibrant two-day fair celebrates the “Sennichi Mairi” (Thousand-Day Pilgrimage) and is a fascinating part of the summer spiritual calendar in Tokyo.

Experience the Sennichi Mairi & Hozuki Market at Atago Shrine

Atago Shrine Minato Tokyo

Atago Shrine, nestled in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, transforms into a bustling festival ground during the Hozuki Market. The main attraction of this event is the large ring made of cogon grass, known as the “Chinowa. Tradition states that walking through this ring can bring about blessings equivalent to a thousand days of worship. This belief brings in droves of participants eager to receive the bounty of good fortune.

Participants chant, “Minazuki no Nagoshi no harau hito wa, Chitose no inochi nobu to iu nari” as they walk in a figure-eight pattern through the large ring, completing the course three times. This act is believed to purify the individual, removing impurities and misfortunes, while bestowing good health and longevity.

The Significance of Hozuki

Running concurrently with the Sennichi Mairi is the “Hozuki Ennichi” or Hozuki Market. Rows of blessed, vibrant green Hozuki (Chinese Lantern Plants) adorn the shrine grounds during the fair. The popularity of the Hozuki Market dates back to the belief that drinking a decoction of the Hozuki plant, which grew within the shrine’s precincts, could cure ailments such as childhood convulsions and women’s diseases.

People who receive the Hozuki are also granted a special purification ritual within the shrine’s main hall, adding another layer of spiritual significance to this special event.

Nagoshi-no-harae Purification Ritual

On the second day of the event, June 24th, at 11 am, the “Chu-sai-shiki (Nagoshi-no-harae)” ritual takes place. Participants transfer their misfortunes to a paper effigy, or “Hitogata,” which is then submitted to the Atago Shrine. This act symbolizes the cleansing of half a year’s worth of misfortunes and impurities.

Event Details

  • Name: Sennichi Mairi & Hozuki Market
  • Dates: June 23rd (Friday) – June 24th (Saturday), 2023
  • Time: 9:00 – 18:00
  • Location: Atago Shrine, Minato Ward, Tokyo [Map]
  • Address: 1-5-3 Atago, Minato Ward, Tokyo

Transportation and Access

The shrine is easily accessible from several nearby stations:

  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line: A 5-minute walk from Kamiyacho Station
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line: An 8-minute walk from Toranomon Station
  • Toei Subway Mita Line: An 8-minute walk from Onarimon Station
  • JR: A 20-minute walk from Shinbashi Station

The Sum Up

The Atago Shrine Hozuki Market is a unique and enriching event that beautifully exemplifies Japan’s cultural heritage. Make sure to participate and immerse yourself in the local traditions for a memorable and spiritual experience.

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