Feb. 08, 2019 UPDATE

Get a bamboo branch from a Japanese actress at Ebisu Shrine

January is a busy month at Ebisu Shrine, and a great chance to get a bamboo branch from a Japanese actress for the low price of 3000 yen.
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

We went to the Toka Ebisu Festival at Ebisu Shrine, which is located close to Keihan Gion-Shijo station. This festival is an event where you pray for a successful year and thriving business. This makes the event really popular with business owners, who all want to get a bamboo branch here that is believed to make their business a success.

▼Click here for details about the event


the entrance

food stalls

This is the entrance to the road that leads to the festival. You can already see some food stalls lining the road; there are many more to come. There is a lot of variety here; you can have kara-age fried chicken, caramelized apples, pancakes, French fries… just about anything.

kara-age fried chicken

All of us here at Sharing Kyoto love kara-age fried chicken, so it was the natural choice for us as a starter. The chicken here was really juice and pretty reasonably prized for a festival, we got a cup of chicken that only cost us 600 yen, and that was enough for three people.

Toei Movie company actress

bamboo branch
At the shrine the main event has to be the bamboo branch that is handed to you by a Toei Movie company actress. The branch costs 3000 yen, and as you can see in the picture, it doesn’t have many decorations yet. The decorations cost extra, the most costly ones costing over ten thousand yen while the cheapest wooden amulet goes for 800 yen.

fortune slip

Shiho decided to try her luck by picking out a fortune slip. You need to pick the fortune slip with your birthday written on it. And how was Shiho’s luck for the year 2017? According to the slip, seems like she is going to give birth to a healthy baby boy! Though according to Shiho this is highly unlikely.

bamboo branch decorated with all kinds of luck-bringing things

Here you can see our bamboo branch decorated with all kinds of luck-bringing things! Shiho is also holding her lucky slip, the one that promised her good luck and a baby boy. The bamboo branch is supposed to make our web-magazine thrive. The bamboo decorations if the branch cost over 4000 yen, not exactly cheap, but a small price to pay for a successful site! As the person responsible for our Facebook content, I personally hope for more fans and comments on our page.

wooden ema amulet

This is the wooden ema amulet that decorates our bamboo branch. It has a cute picture of a rooster wearing a kimono on it. Ebisu Shrine’s wooden amulets have a distinct cute style, so we hope you will look forward also to next year when it is the year of the dog.

some candy

We also got some candy! These candies have faces on them, some smiling while some have a more sour face on them. They look beautiful but the taste is just sugary. Not bad though.


To finish our festival experience on a high, we decided to have some amazake! The name has the Japanese word for alcohol, sake on it, but amazake itself contains almost no alcohol. The drink is made from fermented rice and has a sweet, deep taste. The amazake we got had some ginger in it too to make you feel warm. Fermented foods are good for you, so look for amazake next time you are in Kyoto! Or just go to your nearest Asian supermarket and buy some right now.

All in all, the event was fun and we got a cool bamboo branch to display in our office. We hope you will go to the Toka Ebisu Festival next year!

A comment from the staff
At the Toka Ebisu Festival you can buy bamboo branches called fukuzasa that are said to bring good luck. There are many types of decorations that you can freely choose, and they all have different meanings and bring different kinds of luck to you. If you are not sure what meaning the decorations have, ask the miko-san (shrine maiden) who will gladly tell you! It is a really fun festival bustling with people and food stalls!

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