There is a Hanazono shrine(花園神社） between Shinjuku buildings in Japan.
Ootori matsuri（大酉祭り、酉の市） and the eve of the festival are held six times in total in November every year at the shrine.
There are rows of many stalls on not only the precincts but also the sidewalk of the main street facing the shrine.
Step in the approach path between the buildings, go through the Torii gate and follow the road full of people. Move forward step by step through the smell drifting from the stalls and people’s funny voices. You may be overwhelmed by the number of lanterns lined up insight if you go to the square in front of the prayer hall.
It may be nice to line up in a row and worship.
Just by walking and feeling the atmosphere of the festival may be enough to enjoy, but I will introduce three points for more enjoyment.
- Rake – Kumade
Speaking of the festivals in Japan is festival stalls, the typical ones are food stands and games like a shooting gallery.
However, during this festival period, rakes are being sold in the center of the shrine, not food or toys.
A rake is originally a tool for collecting fallen leaves, but the rake that is sold here is a decorative rake as a lucky charm to collect customers and money. People who do service business will buy it and hope to succeed in business.
If a customer buys a rake, the seller prays for the prosperity of the customers’ business with a big shout and clapping.
By walking in this area, you can enjoy fine decorations of the rake and a cheering call.
You may try buying a rake by yourself.
- Show tent – Misemono goya
If it is as usual, there is a show tent near the Otorii in front of the shrine during the festival. Misemono goya is a show tent and the opportunities to watch it is decreasing. In the past, there were several groups to perform the show. But it had been decreasing gradually, and now the group has become one, and the last one will not be known to last.
When you visit this festival, it would be lucky if the Misemono goya is still doing it.
Many people are buying food at stalls, walking while eating, and enjoying the atmosphere of the festival.
Although there are only shops selling foods for a walk and eat at a normal festival, there are some pub-like stalls where you can sit and eat at the festival.
Every stall will be crowded and may need to wait for a while, but it is an opportunity only a few times a year. The stalls are surrounded by blue tarps, but since it is outside, I recommend you go with warm clothes.