Hochoshiki Heian Era Knife Ceremony in Minamiboso near Tokyo


Head to Minamiboso in Chiba to watch—and even participate in—a 'Hochoshiki' knife ceremony that dates back to Heian period court practices. Don't miss this unique experience at Japan's only shrine dedicated to a Shinto deity of cookery.


  • Visit a shrine dedicated to an ancient Shinto deity of cookery and kitchen knives
  • Learn about this fascinating slice of Japanese history from a professional guide
  • Participate in an ancient ritual dating back to the Heian Imperial Court
  • Try on and take photos wearing traditional clothing of the ritual
  • Eat traditional Japanese cuisine of the kind prepared with the Hochoshiki ceremony

Key Information

Important Information

• Children aged 0–5 are free of charge. • Guidance will be provided in Japanese, with the use of ‘Pokétalk’ translation device for speakers of other languages. • Please bring cash to pay for bus or taxi transfers. Bus transfers will be approximately 590 yen per person, or if you prefer taxi, expect to pay around 3,300 yen in total.


Visit Japan's only shrine dedicated to a Shinto deity of cookery and experience the unique 'Hochoshiki' Heian era knife ceremony in Minamiboso (Chiba Prefecture) near Tokyo. In this Imperial Court tradition, the celebrant wears ancient court attire and skillfully carves up a fish using a special kitchen knife and chopsticks, without ever touching the fish with his hands. This pre-meal ceremony is still practiced at the Imperial Palace and just a few shrines around Japan, and very rare for a tourist to be able to experience—until now. On this tour, you’ll first go to a Japanese kaiseki restaurant near the shrine, to enjoy multi-course cuisine highlighting the rich abundance of seafood that typifies Minamiboso. At the restaurant Masaemon, you’ll also watch the Hochoshiki knife ceremony, and even participate in part! After the maestro’s performance, you can also dress in the traditional garb and take photos together. Finally, you'll visit Takabe Shrine where Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto, the deity of cookery and kitchen knives is enshrined. Many soy sauce makers, sake brewers, and chefs visit the shrine to pray for improvement in their skills, while fishermen come to pray for a good catch. For those who subscribe to the view that all things have a spirit, it is also a resting place for old knives at the end of their useful life.

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