Known as "Ochobo-san" Inari Shrine, where 2 million people visit every year
Around the late 1000s, when Minamoto no Yoshitake (the sixth son of Minamoto no Yoshiie) established a branch of his clan, he was ordered by his father to enshrine the spirits of his ancestors to be worshipped as deities forever, together with a treasured sword and a portrait of his father. Therefore, Yoshitake enshrined them as treasures and this was the beginning of Chiyoho Inari Shrine.
Today, this shrine is known as the place of deities for business success, and is popularly called "Ochobo-san" among people. During tsukikoshi-mairi (visiting a shrine between the end of a month and the first day of the following month), many people visit throughout the night to give thanks for safety and peace for that month and to pray for happiness in the upcoming month. Along the 700-meter long approach to the gates, there are approximately 120 stores and restaurants selling all sorts of items, as for example restaurants that specialize in popular kushikatsu (fried cutlet on skewers), or catfish dishes, and so on.
At the Chiyoho Inari Shrine, people offer abura-age (deep-fried bean curd), which is believed to be the favorite food of foxes, an animal considered to be divine messengers. Or the offerings may simply be practical as abura-age does not spoil easily. The other possible reason is that abura-age is offered as a substitute for mice, which are also a favorite food of foxes, but mice are rather difficult to catch.
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