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7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan

7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan – 2016 Preparation and Ceremony

November 15th is the official day of 7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan (Shichi-go-san, 七五三), but many families start to prepare and hold ceremonies from mid-October. Girls age 7 & 3 and boys 5 celebrate coming of age by dressing up the children and visiting shrines across Japan. You can find children celebrating at most major shrines; however, Meiji Jingu in Tokyo is one of the most popular.

7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan

More details on Shichi-Go-San (七五三, lit. “Seven-Five-Three”) from wikipedia. 7-5-3 is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three and seven-year-old girls and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend.  Shichi-Go-San is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with East Asian numerology, which claims that odd numbers are lucky. The practice was set to the fifteenth of the month during the Kamakura Period. Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children—who up until the age of three were required by custom to have shaven heads—were allowed to grow out their hair. Boys of age five could wear hakama for the first time, while girls of age 7-5-3 Celebrations in Japanseven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi. By the Meiji Period, the practice was adopted amongst commoners as well, and included the modern ritual of visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long healthy life.

Ten Tips for Your 7-5-3 Celebrations

  1. Determine which shrine you will attend and check their schedules, and if reservations are necessary. The standard shrine fee for each 7-5-3 participating child is 5,000 – 10,000 yen.
  2. If the shrine you are attending does not rent kimonos, find a rental shop and reserve one month in advance (three locations below to rent).
  3. Reserve the earliest time available at the shrine to beat the crowds and avoid afternoon nap time.
  4. If you are eating out after the ceremony book a restaurant with a private room (little one may fall asleep).
  5. Read a few books to your little one so they understand what is happening. Some book recommendations below.
  6. Make sure your little one gets a good night sleep before the big day. The worst is breakdowns at the shrine.
  7. Plan to spend 60 mins for kimono and hair. Bring books or iPad/iPhone to keep little ones distracted.
  8. Bring cold drinks. Walking and waiting in a kimono can be very hot.
  9. If it is raining, bring a big golf umbrella to keep clothing dry.
  10. Make sure your cameras and video recorders are charged. Wonderful memories to keep forever.

7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan7-5-3 Celebrations in Japan

Most Popular Shrines to Visit for 7-5-3 Celebrations – All local shrines have a 7-5-3 celebration so it is not necessary to go to one of the most popular. However, if you want to know the most popular 7-5-3 shrines here they are.

Tokyo 7-5-3 Celebrations

1. Meiji Jingu Shrine (明治神宮) (Shibuya- ku, Tokyo)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 16:00
– Address: Meiji Jingu, 1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Shichi-Go-San Celebrations: image from www.meijijingu.or.jp/
image from www.meijijingu.or.jp/

– Cost per child: 5,000 and up ~
– Access: 5 min walk from Harajuku station
– Website: http://meijijingu.or.jp/753/index.html (in English)
– Note: path to shrine is pebbles so strollers with small tires do not work well

2. Hie Jinja (日枝神社) (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 16:00
– Address: 2-10-5 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
– Cost per child: 10,000 and up ~
Hie Shrine– Access: 10 min walk from Akasaka and Nagatacho stations
– Website: www.hiejinja.net (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental, dressing and meal plans are offered – contact the shrine

 

3.  Koyasu Jinja (子安神社) (Hachioji, Tokyo)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 15:30
– Address: 4 -10-3 Myojincho, Hachioji, Tokyo
– Cost per child: 6,000 and up ~
– Access: 5 min walk from Hachioji station
– Website: homepage3.nifty.com (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental and dressing plans are offered – contact the shrine

4. Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine (富岡八幡宮) (Koto-ku, Tokyo)

Shichi-Go-San Celebrations: image from Tomioka Hachiman Shrine
image from Tomioka Hachiman Shrine

– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:30
– Address: 1-20-3 Tomioka, Koto, Tokyo
– Cost per child: plans 5,000, 7,000 and 10,000 yen
– Access: 3 min walk by from Monzen-nakacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, parking also available
– Website: www.tomiokahachimangu.or.jp (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental and photo plans are offered – contact the shrine

5. Tokyo Dai Jingu (東京大神宮) (Koto-ku, Tokyo)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:30
– Address:2-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda, Tokyo
– Cost per child: plans 10,000 yen ~
– Access: 5 min walk from Iidabashi Station on the JR Sobu Line/Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, no parking
– Website: www.tokyodaijingu.or.jp (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental and photo plans are offered with appointment – contact the shrine

Kanagawa 7-5-3 Celebrations

6. Kawasaki Daishi Jinja (川崎大師) (Kawasaki, Kanagawa-ken)

Shichi-Go-San Celebrations: image from Kawasaki Daishi Jinga
image from Kawasaki Daishi Jinga

– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:30
– Address:4-48 Daishimachi, Kawasaki Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa-ken
– Cost per child:  5,000 yen ~
– Access: 10 min walk from the Kawasaki-Daishi Station on the Keikyu Daishi Line
– Website: www.kawasakidaishi.com (in Japanese)

7. Iseyama Jinja (伊勢山皇大神宮) (Yokohama, Kanagawa)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:00
– Address: 64 Miyazakicho, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken
– Cost per child:  10,000 yen ~
– Access: 10 min walk from Sakuragicho Station on the Minato-Mirai line
– Website: www.iseyama.jp (in Japanese)

– Note: full service kimono rental and meals can be arranged

Osaka 7-5-3 Celebrations

8. Sumiyoshi Taisha Jinga (住吉大社) (Osaka-shi,  Osaka)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:00
– Address: 1-9-89 Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
– Cost per child: one child 10,000 yen, two children 15,000 yen
– Access: 5 min walk from Sumiyoshitaisha Station on the Nankai Main Line, parking available
– Website: www.sumiyoshitaisha.net (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental and photo plans are offered with appointment – contact the shrine

9. Domyojiten Mangu Jinja (道明寺天満宮) (Osaka-shi,  Osaka)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:00
– Address:1-16-40, Domyoji, Fujiidera-shi, Osaka
– Cost per child: 6,000 yen
– Access: , parking available
– Website: www.domyojitenmangu.com (in Japanese)
– Note: Full service kimono rental, dressing, hair and photo plans are offered with appointment – contact the shrine

Kyoto 7-5-3 Celebrations

10. Heian Jinja (平安神宮) (Kyoto-shi,  Kyoto)
– Opening Days: open everyday
– Celebration Times: November open 9:00 to 14:00
– Address: 97 Okazaki-Nishi-tenno-cho,Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
– Cost per child: 6,000 yen~
– Access: 10 min walk from Karasuma Oike Station, parking available
– Website: www.heianjingu.or.jp (in Japanese)
– Note: Kimono rental, dressing, hair and photo plans are offered with appointment – contact the shrine

 

Photos and kimono rentals for 7-5-3 Celebrations – Best to visit the store as soon as possible to reserve the kimono you want and day. The best designs book early.  If you are just looking for aphotographer here is a great list!

  1. Studio Mario – Photo studio and kimono rentals across Japan. Weekday rentals from 5,00 -9,000 yen, weekend 9,000 – 17,000 yen.  http://www.studio-mario.jp/campaign/753_rental/ (Japanese website).
  2. Studio Alice – Photo studio and kimono rentals across Japan. Weekday rentals from 5,00 -9,000 yen, weekend 9,000 – 17,000 yen.  http://www.studio-alice.co.jp/info/rental753/ (Japanese website).
  3. Kashikimono – If you just want to rent a kimono and know how to set yourself, kashikimono.com is a great option. You rent a kinomo on line and it is delivered two days before your planned shrine visit. The following day you ship back. No cleanin is needed, just return in good condistion and they will clean. Very nice selection; 5,500 – 12,00 yen for foru day rental for sets that include everything from the kimono to the sandals. https://kashikimono.com/c/shichi (Japanese website).

 

Books to read about Shichi-go-san – 

 

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Shichi-Go-San Celebrations

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