Dec. 17, 2015 UPDATE
Kyoto is full of excitement as New Year approaches
Part 3

Have a delicious and fun New Year holiday!

To get a good start on the year, eating something delicious is a must. It is a lot of fun and gets you in the mood to do your best in the coming year. At New Year in Kyoto there is nothing but good things to eat. Getting your fill of special lucky foods for New Year is a good idea. There are also plenty of ceremonies that are both fun to watch and fun to join in. You can go on enjoying the New Year mood until the middle of January. (That said, if have go back to work after New Year, take it seriously!) We will introduce some special New Year goods and fun ceremonies at shrines and temples.
Lots of fun ceremonies!
Kemari Hajime (Shimogamo Shrine)
The event starts at 1:30 PM on January 4th on the grounds of Shimogamo Shrine. This is a reenactment of a traditional game played in the Imperial Court long ago. Courtiers in splendid clothing kick around a single ball while shouting. Note the skillful footwork. The surrounding gallery can get quite boisterous, with lots of shouting and laughing.
Toka Ebisu Festival (Ebisu Shrine)
The event starts at 11:00 AM on January 10th on the grounds of [[[Ebisu Shrine]]]. Merchants gather in Kyoto to get pieces of bamboo blessed with prayers for success in business. The area around [[[Ebisu Shrine]]] is lined with stalls selling food and lucky charms, and the air is full of enthusiasm. Large crowds can be expected.
Toshiya (Sanju-sangendo Hall)
This event is held at Sanju-sangendo Hall on the nearest Sunday to January 15th. People confident in their archery skills and men and women coming of age (turning 20) that year come from around the country to shoot at a target 1 meter wide placed 60 meters away. Take note of the colorful finery and serious expressions on the young people coming of age.
Daiko Daki (Hojuji Temple)
This event is held at Hojuji Temple on the same day as Toshiya (Sanju-sangendo Hall). At this ceremony to pray for good health in the New Year, they sell daikon cooked in a large iron kettle for 1,000 a bowl. This is called Gomaki, and it comes as a set with a paper slip inscribed with a prayer to put up on the grounds. Note that it is sold over three separate sessions (10 AM/ 12 PM/ 2 PM). *Other events called Daiko Daki are held at other shrines near the end of the year.

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