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Walking Tours of Yanaka Shichifukujin

Shichifukujin Meguri, a pilgrimage to meet Seven Lucky Gods.

Shichifukujin Meguri 七福神巡り is a short pilgrimage tour to visit temples and shrines of Shichifukujin, the Seven Deities of Good Fortune. Shichifukujin Meguri can be made anytime of the year, though it is usually done during Oshougatsu, the beginning of the year (1st, 2nd and 3rd of January). It is where people wish for happiness and good fortune in the New Year.

It has been said that this old custom started in the early Edo period (about 400 years ago) and it is still popular everywhere in Japan.

The Shichifukujin Gods

Shichifukujin, or the Seven Deities of Good Fortune are 7 Gods that came from India, China and Japan. The 7 Gods are:

Ebisu 恵比寿
The God of Success in Business
Daikokuten 大黒天
The God of a Rich Harvest
Benziten 弁財天
The God of Good Results in Learning and Fortune
Bbisyamonten 毘沙門天 
The God of Victory
Hotei 布袋 
The God of Good Fortune, bringing good match, bringing healthy children
Fukurokuju 福禄寿
The God of Long Life and Wealth
Jurouzin 寿老人 
The God of long life and happiness

As each Shichifukujin had jovial characteristics and always with a big smile on their face, this made people feel happy by looking at them. 

They not only have friendly personal characteristics but also are symbols of good luck. Shichifukujin have been popular for hundreds of years in Japan. Since many temples and shrines are enshrining the gods of Shichifukujin throughout Japan, there are many tour routes for the Shichifukujin Maguri. For example, there are 28 tour routes just in Tokyo.

The route we introduce here is called the Shichifukujin Meguri route in Yanaka, starting from Tabata to Ueno. Although the temples and shrines in Yanaka are small ones, not like the large temple in Asakusa, they still retain a warm atmosphere and loved by locals living in the town.

These temples have crowds of visitors only during the beginning of new year. They are usually quiet and don’t have many visitors. (Except for Bentendo in Ueno Park). It is recommended you say hello to the attendants to get permission to go inside when you visit off season at the Shichifukujin Meguri. At some temples, it is required to take your shoes off to go inside the building. 

Yanaka Shichifukujin Meguri Walking Tour | Estimated time for the tour: 3 hours

Toukakuji Temple 東覚寺 - Fukurokuju

Toukakuji Temple is also known for Akagami Niou, 2 stone statues of Niou, that show many red papers. People suffering from a disease put a red paper on the body of Niou statue and pray for recovery.

Google Maps - Toukakuji

Seiunji Temple 青雲寺 - Ebisu

A small temple on a narrow street leading to a Yanaka shopping street. It has been said this temple was established in the middle of the 18th century.

Google Maps - Seiunji

Shuseiin Temple 修性院- Hotei

Shuseiin Temple is just a 1 minute-walk from the Seiunji Temple on the same road. A big Hotei statue set inside of the temple is known for its remarkable looks.

Google Maps - Shuseiin

Tennouji Temple 天王寺 - Bishamonten

Established in the 15th century, Tennouji Temple used to be a large temple and included the Yanaka cemetery area, this was part of a temple from the Edo period.

Google Maps - Tennouji

Chouanji temple 長安寺 - Juroujin

A small temple established in the middle of 17th century.

Google Maps - Chouanji

Gokokuin Temple 護国院 - Daikokuten

Established in 1625, it has been said that the statue of Daikokuten in this temple was dedicated by Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun.

Google Maps - Gokokuin

Nezu Shrine 根津神社

If you keep walking along the small alley you will reach a medium sized road. Turn left and keep walking. When you walk past an intersection with traffic lights and you will see Nezu Shrine on the right.

Shinobazu Bentendou 不忍池弁天堂- Benzaiten

Shinobazubentendou is called Bendou, in short. It is located at the Shinobazu pond. It always has crowds of people, as it is one of sightseeing spots in Ueno.

Google Maps - Benzaiten

Ueno Map

Yanaka Contents

Yanaka - Top Page 
How to get to the Yanaka Neighbourhood
Yanaka - Cultural Attractions
Other sightseeing areas close to Yanaka

Walking Tours of Yanaka
Yanaka Tour 1Yanaka Tour 2 | Yanaka Tour 3 | Yanaka Tour 4(Shichifukujin)

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