Buy a good luck bamboo branch and pray to Ebisu, the patron deity of commerce for success in business.
This festival is held at many shrines, particularly in Kansai. Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is very popular and is visited by one million people each year who come to pray for happiness and business success. Ebisu, familiarly called “Ebessan” in the Kansai dialect, is the patron deity of business as well as of fisheries. A good luck bamboo branch decorated with lots of lucky items such as old, oval gold coins, sea bream and rice bales is a highly popular charm for business prosperity. This is a grand event which has continued ever since the Edo Period (17th-19th Century) when Osaka used to thrive as a commercial town. January 10th is the main festival day, and the 9th is called the Eve of Ebisu, while the 11th is known as the “Last Helping of Luck.” The famous Ebisu Bridge over the Dotonbori River was originally built for worshippers visiting this shrine.
On the 10th, there is the dazzling Good Luck Palanquin parade when a total of 600 celebrities, geisha and fuku-musume (good luck girls) give out lucky goods to the visitors. In order to become a fuku-musume, you have to take a series of auditions, competing against more than 3,000 other candidates. Significant status is acquired when selected as fuku-musume and they receive lots of marriage proposals. There is a morning market on the 10th selling sea bream from 7 a.m. In Japan, sea bream is a special fish served on occasions of celebration. You will also find many stalls in the precincts of the shrine selling lucky charms such as Daruma dolls and beckoning cats.