Good Fortune for Sale at Hongaku-ji

DSC_0425Hard work may be the key, but who doesn’t like a bit of extra luck?

With that in mind, we—and many others—headed down to Hongaku-ji, a temple roughly 300 metres southwest of Kamakura Station. Ebisu, the god of commerce, fishing and fortune, and one of the seven Japanese gods of good fortune, is enshrined there.

Every year on January 10th, the temple celebrates Hon-Ebisu, a day where visitors can purchase good luck charms, most notably bamboo branches adorned with amulets, to bring them and their businesses prosperity in the coming year. The bamboo branches are ¥3,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000, and you’ve got to be early to get a ¥3,000 one.

Sadly, we missed out, and there’s just something about spending ¥5,000 on a bamboo branch that didn’t make financial sense to us this early in the game. I guess we’ll have to get by on plain sweat, muscle and elbow grease this year. Nothing wrong with that.

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