Asakusa’s Senso-ji – Tokyo’s oldest temple – holds a Hagoita-Ichi Festival every year’s end to sell good luck charm hagoita which are ornamental bats based on those used in a traditional New Year’s game of hanetsuki (a bit like badminton, apparently).
The festival dates back to Edo times. The bats are usually decorated with kabuki actors but you may also find them decorated with TV personalities, sports stars or even cartoon characters. There are 50 stalls set near the main hall of the temple and don’t be surprised if the sales staff clap to celebrate a purchase.
If you live nearer Saitama, you may also want to check out Kasukabe’s Hagoita Market where many of the hagoita sold in Asakusa are made.
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