In Japan, there is the custom of visiting a temple or shrine at the beginning of each year – called hatsumode – to pray for health and happiness for the new year. There is currently a special event taking place in Minato City, where you can visit temples and shrines on foot and experience various tourist highlights along the way.
At the event, all participants visit a total of 8 temples and shrines, in which seven deities are worshiped, the “shichifukujin“, who are said to bring success for the business, wedding, children, or just happiness overall. So by visiting all of these dieties you receive good luck for the whole year.
The charm of the “Minato Shichifukujin Meguri” Tour
The biggest appeal of this traditional event is, among other things, that you get the chance to visit various traditional shrines and temples, as well as seeing different neighborhoods while walking around the city’s tourist attractions. The “Minato Shichifukujin Meguri” leads you around sightseeing spots such as Shiba Park and Tokyo Tower, the fun Azabu Juban Shopping Street, the Embassy Area, as well as Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown which are great places for shopping and dining.
Some shrines and temples offer free tours for its visitors and you might even be treated with sweet sake (amazake) and warm tea.
How can you participate?
The walking distance of the “Minato Shichifukujin Meguri” Tour is about 6 km (4 miles). If you start in the morning, you can make it in one day. (Please refer to the “recommended route” below!)
When you arrive at the first shrine or temple, you first make a wish in front of the offering box. After that, visit the office or shop where. The so-called “shikishi” is free. After you got your pilgrimage sheet, collect one stamp at each shrine or temple. The fee for receiving a stamp is 300 yen each.
So get your shikishi and go on a fun tour exploring the city and traditional places. It’s a great event taking place at the beginning of every year and you might even get 8 times luckier when visiting 8 shrines and temples. We wish you a fantastic new year!
This is the recommended route for the “Minato Shichifukujin Meguri” Tour:
① Hojuin Temple (4-8-55, Shiba Park, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/RApYjzUYHeMtaooPA
② Kumano Shrine (2-2-14 Azabudai, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zjbUMGJfJsQTEiAB9
③ Juban Inari Shrine (1-6-6 Azabujuban, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/YHZooSnEWcmwfuux7
④ Daihoji Temple (1-1-10 Motoazabu, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/d2mF3C5UgEyx7F338
⑤ Azabu Hikawa Shrine (1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/XgQ1yscDfNXT1Z5YA
⑥ Sakurada Shrine (3-2-17, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/HF41Z42XdyRgA1dp9
⑦ Tenso Shrine (7-7-7 Roppongi, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/MVvugPVGpHBRpr7s7
⑧ Hisakuni Shrine (2-1-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Fx2EcfXjQkszJYqR7
“Minato Shichifukujin Meguri” Tour Official Homepage (Japanese):
Period: until January 13, 2020 (Monday)
Time: From 9:00 to 17:00 (until 14:00 on the last day)
Fee: The paper for collecting the stamps is free of charge; each stamp is 300 yen (you visit 8 places in total)