Fukagawa Seven Gods of Fortune Tour (Shichi Fukujin Meguri)

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Fukagawa Seven Gods of Fortune Tour (Shichi Fukujin Meguri)

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Throughout Japan, there are multiple places where you can participate in the shichifukjin meguri, a short pilgrimage from one shrine/temple to another, at any time of the year. This custom started in the early Edo Period. In Japanese mythology, there are seven gods who bring good luck. In Fukagawa, there are 3 shrines and 4 temples meant for one god each. It is recommended to visit all seven gods in one day in a certain order. It takes about two hours to finish the course.

The first god is called Ebisu (God of good fortune) and his shrine is the Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine. The next shrine, Fuyuki Bentendo Shrine, hosts Benzaiten (Goddess of arts and knowledge). This specific shrine was originally owned by Fuyuki Bentendo, a wealthy lumber merchant, and was in 1870 it was opened to the public. The next place and first temple you go is called the Shingyo-ji Temple which hosts the God of happiness, wisdom, and longevity, Fukurokuju. Bishamonten, God of victory, is enshrined in the next temple, which is called Ryuko-in Temple. Next, Hoteison, God of satisfaction and abundance, is enshrined in the Fukagawa Inari Shrine while the last one you can go to is Jurojin (God of Longevity)’s Fukagawa Shinmeigu Shrine. The Fukagawa Shinmeigu Shrine used to be a private shrine of the founder of Fukagawa, Fukagawa Hachiroemon.
The main purpose of this pilgrimage is to earn stamps (shuin) from each place. Some may ost money, but once you collected them all, it is considered “good luck” if you place it in your home.

References:
http://www.edsebooks.com/oldtokyo/fumeguri.html
http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/shichi-fukujin

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