Japanese legend has it that on New Year’s Eve, foxes gather from all over Japan under a large tree, disguised in human costume to visit the Oji Inari-jinja Shrine. To honor this tale, the Oji Inari-jinja Shrine celebrates hatsumode (the first shrine visit of the year during New Year’s Eve/New Year’s) with inspirations from this legend.
If you decide to participate in the event, be prepared to admire the devotion to the theme. Fox masks replacing people’s faces, fox face paint underneath the fox mask, and quirky stands selling fox alcohol—all these characteristics you can find at Oji Kitsune-no-gyoretsu.
If you want to experience an event that is entirely unique to Japan, or maybe desire a novel way to countdown to a New Year, you may want to start writing this down on your calendar.