Shimogamo Shrine & Kitayama Nov. 29, 2016 UPDATE
Events
Small New Year’s ritual serving red bean porridge to pray for perfect health

Okayu-sai

Venue: Shimogamo Shrine
January 15th, every year
Okayu-sai
In Japan, January 15 is called “ko-shogatsu”, which means small New Year and the last day of New Year’s period continued from January 1. People hang rice cake flowers called mochi-bana, burn New Year’s decorations like pine branches, and eat red bean porridge on ko-shogatsu day. These are unique customs. Temple and shrine in Kyoto have also various festivities related to small New Year.
At shimogamo shrine, porridge festival called Okayu-sai takes place January 15 annually to celebrate the day....more Red bean porridge and soybean porridge are dedicated to gods to pray for productiveness of grain and national peace. After the ritual, visitors can have red bean porridge. It is said the red of red beans have the power to expel evil and you don’t get any accident or illness that year. This shrine is also world heritage site and known as a place that has special power. That makes it sound like the porridge has strong effect. Why not visit here to spend a healthy year?
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Red bean porridge is eaten on a nationwide basis to wish their health for the year. The custom has carried out since Heian period, over 1000 years ago. This is surely Japanese historical tradition. It’s in cold January, but it’s worth to get up early and have some warm rice gruel.
Red and white porridge dedicated to gods
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Red and white porridge dedicated to gods
Red bean porridge and soybean porridge are offered before gods to pray for the productiveness of grain and national peace. White one is made with soybeans and chestnuts, and red one with red beans and red rice. Both of them are dedicated on a tray as an offering in Main hall.
Okayu-sai
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Red porridge at Simogamo shrine
Porridge served by Shimogamo shrine has soft mochi in it. The mochi is a piece of kagami-mochi that we offer to gods in New Year. We split it after the ko-shogatsu of January 15, and have the blissful rice cake in gratitude. It was believed that doing this gave you gods’ strength.
Red bean porridge
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Red bean porridge
Warm red bean porridge is served around 11 o’clock to visitors. It tastes a bit bland, so you can feel primary sweet of rice, beans and mochi’s texture. One bowl 300 yen and will be sold until the porridge is gone.
Detail
Access:
Shimogamo Shrine Appearance photo
Okayu-sai
Phone +81 75-781-0010
Address 〒606-0807 Shimogamo-izumigawa-cho 59, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Directions 12-minute walk from Keihan Line Demachiyanaghi Stn

[From JR Kyoto Station]
From JR Kyoto Station, take the city bus line 205 toward Shijo Kawaramachi Kitaoji Bus Terminal and get off at Shimogamo Jinja-mae. (30 min.)
Event time 10:00 - (porridge serving is from some 11:00)
Cancellations No
Fee Free (a bowl of porridge is 300 yen)
Credit cards Not accepted
Friendly for Overseas Visitors
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Most of participants are the locals, but the shrine is a famous spot for sightseeing. If you have a plan staying Kyoto on the day, please make a visit.
Information Official site has English.
Languages spoken Japanese only
URL http://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english.html
Okayu-sai +81 75-781-0010 Free (a bowl of porridge is 300 yen) -1/3

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