Oct 11, 2018 Event Hiroshima City

Everybody, Smile! The Festival of Prosperity, Ebisu Festival in Hiroshima City

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Ebisuko is one of Hiroshima’s big three festivals, the other two being Toukasan Temple Festival in June and Sumiyoshi Festival in July. Staged at Ebisu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to prayers of prosperity in business, Ebisuko, also called “The Big Ebisu Festival”, has a long, rich history.

Area shopping arcades and malls have huge sales, and even among the other big festivals in Hiroshima it stands out as particularly lively. So come with me as we explore what this happy-yet-somehow-graceful festival is all about!

The Smiling Faces of Festival-goers at Ebisuko

Ebisuko’s founding concept is simple at heart: Everybody, Smile! The festival brings in over 300,000 visitors every year across its four days, taking place from November 17th to 20th.

Ebisu Shrine’s ‘Ebisu Street Shopping Arcade’ is draped in a magnificent array of colored decorations that will make anyone who sees them “*Ebisugao”. The massive sales at the surrounding shops really make it feel as though the gods of prosperity have personally come to attend the festival.

If you suddenly find yourself thinking, “Well, I’m here… better do some shopping!” it’s possible that you’ve caught the Ebisu shopping bug!

*Ebisugao (恵比須顔 / えびすがお) lit. “smiling face like a god named ebisu”

The 400 Year History of Ebisu Shrine and Ebisuko

Ebisuko is a festival with an incredibly long 400 year history. Not once since the year 1603, the year when the shrine was constructed, has the festival been canceled. Even in 1945 following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the festival was held at a barracks shrine.

Ebisu Shrine is said to host the three “Ebisu Gods” of fortune: Ebisu, Kotoshironushi, and Ōe no Hiromoto.

Festival Times, Location, and Access

Ebisu Shrine
Address 5-14 Ebisu-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima (map)
Closest Station Hiroshima Electric Railway Ebisucho
Open Every November 17-20th
Website Tripadvisor

Ebisuko’s Famed “Komazarae”

Captivating night dances, exhilarating Japanese drum performances, bargain shopping, delicious food stalls and more await the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Paper lanterns shed soft light upon the banners depicting the god Ebisu that line the shopping arcades, creating a distinctly resplendent atmosphere.

Something interesting you might see are that some of the food stalls are not food stalls at all. Rather, they sell “Komazarae”, the lucky decorated rakes that Ebisuko is known for. They come in many different sizes and prices.

It is said that with one of these “Rakes of Prosperity” one is able to “rake in” fortune and treasure, and they are adorned by objects such as treasure-hunting ships or embossed hammers. If you have a business or want to ensure the peace and prosperity of your household, I highly recommend Ebisuko’s Komazarae!

Experience Hiroshima’s Winter at Ebisuko

Well, that’s all for my introduction of Ebisuko. What do you think? During Ebisuko, shopping arcades are packed tightly with festival-goers standing shoulder-to-shoulder. Many find themselves thinking “this is fine” and grinning from ear to ear. So come and smile along with us this winter at Ebisuko!