Tori-no-Ichi festival 2022 at Hanazono Shrine

Tori-no-Ichi 2022 was very good. Actually, before we talk about why it was good, we should talk about its name. Technically it was San-no-Tori. The reason for that is it was the third time it was held in November. I missed the first two due to timing. Anyway, it was good to be back there.

Tori-no-Ichi 2022 good luck items
If you need some luck items, Tori-no-Ichi can help you out!

I hadn’t been to the event since 2020. At that time, it was pretty low-key due to the pandemic. To get in you needed a temperature check and use disinfectant. And there were no food stalls. This time, it was completely different. Now that is out of the way, why was it good?

The food stalls were back. Many masks were off. Hanazono’s grounds overflowed with people. It was a vibrant event. Smiles were everywhere. Those of the people carrying the kumade were especially broad. They looked so happy. Some semblance of normality had returned after the hardships of the last two years.

Tori-no-Ichi is a great tradition, for both locals and tourists. Basically, it is about people buying good luck rakes (i.e. the kumade). Yes, the ones we use in the garden. You need to be aware that the festival has rural origins.

man cooking yakisoba
Lots of Japanese street food at this festival. This man was cooking yakisoba.

When they are sold the salespeople clap and chant rhythmically. The buyers are thrilled. You could see it. People crowded around to see it happening. The excitement was palpable. It was a good time.

By the way, I thought my new lens, the Fujifilm XF 35mm would have been a good choice for Tori-no-Ichi 2022 at Hanazono Shrine. It was kind of. Now it has the fastest aperture lens I have at f/2. That was appreciated as it allowed me to use higher shutter speeds.

But it also created problems. Due to it being night, I chose to shoot at f2. At that aperture, the depth of field was very narrow. So the subject was in focus, but things closer or further away were not. To master this lens, I’m going to need more practice. It’ll take time to find the perfect settings.

Have you been to Tori-no-Ichi 2022? Or San-no-Tori? If you have let me know. We’d all love to hear your thoughts about it.

Tori-no-Ichi 2022 camera gear:

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lens: Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2

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