Osaka may be known more for fortified castles and spirited nightlife than tranquil shrines, but luckily it’s the kind of city that has everything. Known locally as Ebessan, Imamiya Ebisu Shrine has endured as an Osaka staple for centuries. It’s also the site of the Toka Ebisu, one of the city’s most colorful festivals in January.
The shrine is a peaceful place of worship beloved by Osakans but often overlooked by travelers. It’s just down the road from attractions like Namba Parks and Den Den Town making it an easy and worthwhile spot to add to your itinerary.
Toka Ebisu Festival
If you think all the revelry in Japan dies down after New Year’s, think again. Just one week after busy Japanese New Year celebrations subside comes the vibrant Toka Ebisu Festival.
Held annually from Jan 9 to 11, Toka Ebisu is an exciting tradition celebrating the Shinto deity Ebisu. You may recognize this jolly god of luck from the Yebisu beer logo. He is thought to be especially lucky in the avenues of fishing and business. Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is his home base in Japan thanks to Osaka’s status as a prosperous merchant city.
The major night of celebration during Toka Ebisu is Jan. 10. Over one million people flock to the shrine on this day to pray, party and watch the lively parade procession.
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