En-nichi: A fun part of Japanese festivals

For many of those who have attended summer festivals in Japan or seen them in manga or anime, it's surely a familiar sight: People walking around in colorful yukatas and stopping at rows of stalls selling aromatic food as well as mini-games where you can win prizes.

These stalls are typically held on festive days known as 縁日 en-nichi. It was traditionally believed that visiting a temple or shrine on these special days would bring blessings from the gods. In order to make the event more memorable, food and game stalls were set up nearby as something for the crowds to enjoy, and eventually, they became an indispensable part of many festivals. Games like throwing hoops, scooping for superballs—which are increasingly replacing live goldfish—in water basins, and cork-gun shooting are particularly popular with kids.

Make your own festival!

But what if you want to create your own festival stalls to re-create some of that Japanese festival mood in a different location?

Kishi's Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese company dealing in balloons and party goods providing products for the Japanese fair and festival industry since its establishment in 1946, will start selling seven types of kits including easy-to-build paper-tube Japanese festival game stalls from July 7th, 2022.

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, various regular community events have been canceled throughout Japan for the past several years. As a result, people have not been able to enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and entertainment of Japanese festivals for a long time. Some festivals are scheduled to resume this year but certainly not all of them. Kishi's realizes that many full-scale festivals may continue to be difficult to put on even this year as people continue to be wary of crowds.

However, it may still be possible to have reduced-scale festivals. Therefore, they developed these kits in the hopes of providing individuals, companies, community centers, etc. with more freedom to organize their own mini-festivals, thereby bringing festivals "closer to home" in local communities and helping to ensure that the fun of the matsuri (festival) doesn't disappear from people's hearts.

Product lineup

Each stall comes with a Showa-era retro-design banner, a decorative wrapping for the base (not included in the pool type), and panels on which to write participation fees, prize information, etc. The legs also have wheels for easy mobility. Red and white tape (since red and white are traditional Shinto colors often seen in festivals) is also included for you to wrap around the paper tubes. It takes about 30 minutes for one adult to assemble the kit, and 15 minutes for those who are used to it.

Product size after assembly: 90 cm (W) x 90 cm (D) x 188 cm (H)

Table stalls come in three types: 射的 shateki (target shooting), 輪投げ {わなげ} wa-nage (ring toss), and ボール投げ bōru-nage—also called たま入れ tama-ire—(ball toss), and cost 16,500 JPY each including tax.


Mini-pool stalls (for games involving scooping small objects from inflatable mini-pools filled with water) come in three types: ヨーヨーつり yōyō-sukui (water ball fishing), ボールすくい bōru-sukui (ball scooping), おもちゃすくい omocha-sukui (toy scooping) and 宝石すくい hōseki-sukui ("jewel" scooping), and cost 14,300 JPY each including tax.

Please note that since the stalls are made with paper tubes, they are more suited to indoor use (for example, inside community centers, schools, etc.) than outdoor use.

Kishi's popular carnival game boxes, water ball scooping kits and other products can be set up to use with these stalls.

For more information, check the official website here (products go on sale on July 7th, 2022).

Note: You may need to use a forwarding service such as Buyee or White Rabbit Express to have products shipped outside of Japan.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.