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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hatsumode at Meiji Shrine

5 days have passed since 2011 started, I have yet to have my hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year). In the past two years, I did it on New Year's Day. Two years ago, I was at the Todai-ji of Nara. Last year, I went to Tsukui Kannon Zen Temple.

This year, a lady friend of mine who had yet to do her hatsumode as well said to do it at Meiji Shrine.

I have written about Meiji Shrine, which is filled with young women in kimono during Seijin No Hi (Coming Of Age Day), (... and that was the top-viewed blog post of last year), which is the number one destination in Japan for hatsumode. Been there a few times, but thought it's a great idea to finally go there for my hatsumode.

So I went.

The first three days of the new year would have been overcrowded, but today, it was decent.

"Please watch your steps"

People heading to Meiji Shrine

Rinsed hand and mouth at the temizuya.

People washing hands at temizuya

Then we headed to the main shrine building.

It was a rather sunny day. My friend's face glistened brightly in the afternoon sun.

It was pretty sunny at the main shrine

So was my own gorgeous face.

Me in front of the main shrine of Meiji Shrine

It was crowded in front of the shrine building, but quite manageable.

Main shrine building of Meiji Shrine

I looked behind me again, the sun was casting a warm soft light over us all.

She was bathed in sunlight at Meiji Shrine

Vertical ray of the sun

A fine day for hatsumode, no?

People making their prayers

Lining up for Hatsumode

We then headed to get our omikuji and see our fortunes.

Omikuji stall of Meiji Shrine

Being the fifth day of 2011 already, only a few were in kimono.

A girl in red kimono

Despite getting our fortunes from different boxes, she and I ended up with the same omikuji.

Identical Omikuji

She translated to me that the omikuji said I had to work hard. Guess I'm not a workaholic enough, perhaps a sign that it's time for me to plot a new short film before I start work on my ambitious feature-length debut.

We then went to check out the ema (絵馬), they are wooden plaques where people write their prayers or wishes.

Checking out the Ema

One wishes to see the J-pop boy (man?) band Arashi.

"I wish to see Arashi"

A kid wishes to become a Kamen Rider.

Another wishes that the world won't blow up because of global warming.

One wishes to be a kamen rider. The other wishes the world won't explode.