This evening, I went to Gion to visit Ebisu-jinja to wish for a good year. The god Ebisu in enshrined here. Ebisu-san (or Ebesu-san in Kyoto dialect) is the god of financial success. Kyotoites who are involved in business visit the shrine at the beginning of each year to pray for a good business year.
On the way to the shrine, I saw a tourist dressed as a maiko (apprentice geisha) on Shimbashi-dori. Even though she wasn’t a real maiko, she made a good picture:
Tourist Maiko © Chris Rowthorn
Here is a picture of the shrine:
Ebisu-jinja © Chris Rowthorn
Here is a picture of one of the shrine maidens dancing with a bit of sasa (small bamboo) to consecrate it.
Miko-san © Chris Rowthorn
The god Ebisu-san is said to be hard of hearing, which is probably all for the best considering how many people are begging him to make them rich. In order to get his attention, people bang on the side of the shrine, like this woman is doing:
Banging on the Shrine © Chris Rowthorn
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)