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November 2018

Ebisuko Festival

November 18 - November 20
Ebisu Shrine, 5-14 Ebisu-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima, Hiroshima 730-0021 Japan
Free
Ebsuko Festival

Ebisu Shrine's autumn festival marks the arrival of winter in Hiroshima. Known among locals as Ebessan after the god of commerce, surrounding stores hold sales and buy komazadare bamboo rakes adorned with gold coins and atreasure ship. You might here business owners complain that the whole thing is a racket, but you won't see a shop, restaurant or bar in the area without one. A huge barrel with mouth wide open is placed in front of the shrine to receive offerings. Learn more…

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Autumn leaves illuminated at Shukkei-en Garden

November 23 - December 2
Shukkeien Garden, 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0014 Japan
¥260

As part of Shukkei-en Garden's annual "Momiji Matsuri" its maple trees with their red leaves will be lit up until 21:00 each night. There is also a nice Japanese-style cafe serving tea and sake, where you can try dressing up in kimono too. Garden is open 09:00-21:00 Illumination 17:30-21:00 Final admission 20:30 See our photo feature on the illuminations here.  

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December 2018

New Year at Gokoku Shrine

December 31, 2018 - January 3, 2019
Gokoku-jinja Shrine, 2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0011 Japan
Free
Gokoku-jinja Shrine in Hiroshima at New Year

December 31 From 17:00 Ooharae-shiki (purification ceremony) & Joya-sai (seeing out the old year festival) From just after 11pm the bell in the main shrine building opens for clanging and the ceremonial sake starts to be served to the first of the over half a million people who will visit over the next few days. 24:00 Shrine maidens dance to welcome the new year. January 1 10:00 Saitansai is a Shinto ritual to mark the beginning of New Year, followed…

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Chinkasai Fire Festival

December 31 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mikasa-no-hama, Miyajima, Mikasa-no-hama, Miyajima-cho
Hatsukaichi-shi, 739-0588 Japan
Free

With most people living in the wooden houses, closely clustered together along narrow streets for centuries, fear of calamitous fires is deeply ingrained in the Japanese psyche. The Chinkasai on Miyajima is an impressive fire appeasing festival held on New Year's Eve. Read more about the Chinkasai Fire Festival here.  

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January 2019

Firewalking ritual at Saikoku-ji Temple, Onomichi

January 8, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saikoku-ji Temple, 29-27 Nishi-kubo-cho
Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 722-0044 Japan
Free

Goma Ritual burning of cedar sticks followed by fire walking. Members of the public set themselves up for a fortuitous year by taking part in the fire walking for a charge of ¥1500 which includes a headband and gohei staff with pleated streamers.  

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