A traditional summer expression in the Higashiyama area of Kanazawa City is “shiman-rokusen” (Japanese for 46,000). On one particular day a year, everyone visiting the Kannon-in Buddhist Temple (July 9 on the old lunar calendar) receives 46,000 days of blessings. On the new calendar this year, the Day of 46,000 Blessings was August 19. I was up early that morning, and over at the temple, lucky talismans and amulets, such as “toukibi” (corn), were already on sale. The lucky charms are reputed to bring good fortune to your life and business if you hang them up outside under the eaves of your house.

Unsurprisingly, 46,000 days of favor with only one day’s visit to the temple means that some citizens who usually have little faith suddenly get religion and become enthusiastically pious.

The evening of August 19 presented Kanazawa with a beautiful sunset, so I watched for a while from the Asano River Bridge. Then, as I walked the streets of Higashiyama, I saw house after house with brand new temple amulets hanging outside. Feeling slightly out of sorts, I headed over to Bistro Ryomon and pulled up a chair.

Bistro Ryomon

Ishikawa-ken, Kanazawa-shi, Higashiyama 1-23-6
18:00 – 25:00 (last order at 24:00)
Closed: Wednesdays