Godai Rikison Ninnō’e & Mochi-age五大力尊仁王会、餅上げ

Summary

Fire ritual before a statue during the Mochi-age at Daigo-ji temple.

The Buddhist memorial service of Godai Rikison Ninnō’e is held at Daigo-ji each year in accordance with the teachings of the temple’s founder, Shōbō Rigen Daishi. With a history tracing back to 907, monks gather at Daigo-ji to participate in ceremonies open to the public in which they call upon the strength of Buddhism’s Five Wisdom Kings (the Godai Myō’ō), including the popular Fudo Myō’ō, who is said to burn away all impurities standing in the way of your enlightenment. 

Monks and person lifting rice cake at the Mochi-age at Daigo-ji temple.

Praying for the health, happiness, and peace of the country, the monks spend a week (February 15th – 21st) blessing paper charms called miei which parishioners can later buy on February 23rd and hang for protection. 

On the 23rd, the same day as the largest memorial service for the Five Wisdom Kings, the temple holds another event called the Mochi-age Chikara Hōnō (Rice Cake Lifting Offering of Strength), in which participants compete to see who can hold giant rice cakes aloft the longest. 

2013 winner with rice cake at the Mochi-age at Daigo-ji temple.

The rice cake for the women’s competition weighs in at massive 90 kg (198 lbs.), with the men’s competition set at a whopping 150 kg (330 lbs.)  Participants draw numbered lots and then take turns trying to lift the mochi, which is made of two layers tied to a wooden stand with vibrant red and white cloth.  In order to receive blessings of good health, people offer this show of strength to the deities.  

Let the lifting competition begin!  If you can place in the top four longest mochi holders, you’ll receive part of the rice cake as well as a certificate as your prize!

Things to See/Do

  • Buddhist Service

Schedule

February 23rd

 

09:00  Buddhist Memorial Service

12:00  Mochi Lifting Competition (Mochi-age Hōnō)

Access

Daigo-ji

Address

〒601-1325 伏見区醍醐東大路町22

TEL 075-571-0002
FAX 075-571-0101
WEB https://www.daigoji.or.jp/index_e.html

Admission

  • General Admission: ¥800* (Lower Daigo Area, Sanbō-in Sub-Temple and Treasure Hall)
  • * The ticket costs ¥1500 in spring (March 20th  May 15th) and fall (October 15th  December 10th)
  • Junior High and High School Students: ¥600* (Lower Daigo Area, Sanbō-in Sub-Temple and Treasure Hall)
  • * The ticket costs ¥1000 in spring (March 20th  May 15th) and fall (October 15th  December 10th)

Hours

  • General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00 (March – first Sunday in December), 09:00 – 16:30 (December – February) (last entry is 1 hour prior to closing)
  • Closed: No closing days

Transportation

  • Tōzai Line Subway ⇒ Daigo Station ⇒ 15 minutes walking OR Community Bus to Daigo-ji Temple
  • Keihan Bus ⇒ Daigo-ji-mae Bus Stop