Shinto “Imamiya Ebisu” is the most famous among the small shrines in Osaka. It is located in the Naniwa sector. This shrine, as its name implies, is dedicated to the God Ebisu, God of fishermen and commerce. Ebisu is part of the 7 gods of fortune. It is characterized by its big smile. He appears with a fishing rod in his right hand and a net in his left.
This sacred enclosure was founded in 600 by order of Prince Shotoku with the purpose of warding off evil spirits believed to come from the west of the Shitenno temple. Over the years and with the growth of Osaka as a city, this shrine became a place of great devotion for all those who have their life related to business.
Many visit the shrine during the three days from January 9 to 11, especially Toka Ebisu day (celebrated on the 10th), where a large festival is held that gathers one million spectators annually.
During the Toka Ebisu Festival, people buy sacred bamboo branches decorated with lucky objects in the hope of their business success.
Imamiya Ebisu is colloquially called “Ebessan”. There he also worships the great Goddess “Amaterasu”, Goddess of the Sun and main deity of Shinto.
The sacred oratory is made up of:
- The source of water for purification of the soul (found almost in all Shinto shrines).
- The Hoden (main shrine)
- El Shamusho (It is the administrative office and it is where you can buy the “Omamori” protection amulets)
- Behind the Hoden is a shrine dedicated to the famous God Inari.
- On the side of the Hoden is another small shrine called “DaiKokuYa”.
It should be noted that in front of the Hoden there are several pots with small plants and the entire floor of the enclosure is covered by small stones, symbolizing the importance of nature in the Shinto religion.
During the year activities are carried out for the recreation of children, placing small slides and water pools in the sanctuary, symbolizing the God Ebisu and his closeness to the town.
Imamiya is a beautiful shrine and it is recommended to visit it when you are in Osaka.