22 December, 2008

Hagoita-Ichi (Hagoita Fair) / Senso-ji temple, Asakusa

Hagoita is, originally, a paddle of the traditional racket game, Hanetsuki, which is played by kids during the New Year’s holiday. It also has been made and displayed as a charm against evil. Ancient people believed that Hagoita would hit bad lucks away. It has become one of the craft arts of Tokyo.
Every December, Hagoita craftsmen gather at Asakusa Senso-ji temple for the Hagoita-Ichi (Hagoita Fair). This fair has been held there since Edo era and it has become one of the signature winter event in Tokyo.

Hagoita-Ichi poster displayed at JR Ueno station.

Last Thursday night, I dropped over at Asakusa on the way back home, and took Asakusa night scene and some Hagoita pictures. (All of pictures can be enlarged by clicking them.)

It was already over 20 o’clock, so most of the shops on the approach pavement to the Senso-ji were about closed.

I often had been there in the daytime, but it was a first time to visit at night.

Most of the Hagoita were featuring the Kabuki-actors.

Apparently the range of prices of normal sizes were around 20,000 - 50,000 yen. Bigger hagoita were over 300,000yen,,, zee, who could buy them?

Some of craftsmen feature celebrities or athletes who were active this year.

The boy with red cap in the above picture is Ryo Ishikawa, Japanese professional golf rookie, who won a golf tournament when he was just 15 (he was recorded in the Guinness book as the youngest winner of the regular golf tournament) and became a professional golfer this year.

Hello Kitty”?

The dates of the fair are 17th to 19th December, every year. Please note on your next year’s calender.

The closest station is Asakusa (Tokyo Metro Ginza-line, Tobu Isesaki-line and Toei Asakusa-line).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be visiting Asakusa Sensoji around mid Dec 2009.
May I ask if it is possible to walk from JR Ueno station to this temple?

23/9/09 09:33  
Blogger Shige_d said...

Oh! I just noticed your comment. Sorry for being late.

Asakusa Sensoji is a little bit far from Ueno station.
I recommend you to get the subway Ginza-line(Tokyo Metro) at Ueno station. Asakusa station is three stops far from Ueno.

Here is a map of Tokyo subways.

I hope this information is of use for you. Please feel free to ask if you need any further info.

26/9/09 22:15  

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