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Top: Many places sell hohzuki and wind-bells in sets.
Left: Some are sold in pots, and some on branches.
Right: The charm for yonman-rokusen-nichi
(46,000 days) also has efficacy for kaminariyoke*


For centuries, it has been believed that a single visit to Sensoji Temple on either the 9th or 10th of July brings blessings worth that of 46,000 visits. During these two days on the temple grounds of Sensoji opens the hohzuki (lantern plant/ ground cherry) fair where about 450 hohzuki and 350 other (food, games, toys) stands pack side to side giving out loud, lively and enthusiastic calls morning through night. Although it is only a short fair, it has been for a while rather a large-scale fair which attracts approximately 600,000 visitors every year. For two days, the usually cheery precincts of Sensoji take on a fancy yet refined atmosphere brought by the cool sounds of wind-bells and visitors dressed in yukata.

Hohzuki is an herbaceous perennial originating in Southeast Asia which by now has spread across other parts of Asia, Southern Europe and the American continent. Most are grown by human for food or for ornamental purposes, but there are some that grow wild. The ones sold at the hohzuki fair at Sensoji are for ornamental use, but you can also play with the seeds if you take them out of the berry and rattle them inside your mouth.

*kaminariyoke... Summer in Japan is not always calm weatherwise, usually having sudden showers and thunders.
                            Thunders are by no means happy gifts for the farmers since they can damage the fields severely,
                            hence charms for protection against thunders emerged.

[Dates]                  July 9-10 every year
[Location]              Sensoji Temple Ground
                              2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
[Access]                7-min-walk from Tokyo Metro Asakusa Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
                               9-min-walk from Toei Asakusa Station: Toei-Asakusa Line
                               5-min-walk from Tobu Asakusa Station: Tobu Isesaki Line
[Admission]           Free
[Inquiry]                 03-3842-0181 (Sensoji Temple)

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