What we do on New Years in Japan
OK, we got there a bit after midnight, as we were busy in the L shop tonight, we walk down to the shrine Tenjinsama <- (link to a rainy day walk around tour I did) and we take the various religious symbols you buy each year back to the shrine where they will all be burnt later (talk about planned obsoleteness ) We enter through the front gate, the "Shomen" and the first thing we do is wash our hands. The we line up, there were a lot of people there tonight, always a good thing, as we get to say hello and wish many of our neighbors a happy new year.
Still standing in line
Getting closer now!!
When you get to the top of the stairs, you toss a 5 yen coin into the coin hopper thing, and then pull on the colored rope to ring the bell, this is suppose to alert the gods in the shrine that you are there, and will soon pray to them, then you clap your hands twice, and say your prayer, to which ever god you choose.
Next we walk over to the table they have set up for serving sake, or Nihonshu, Japanese rice wine, this is often used in various ceremonies here for a purification purpose. This sake is called "Taru Zake" which is sake from a cedar barrel, it has a distinct taste. You can see my lovely wife Emiko there with a big smile on her face as she gets her little cup of sake.
Next we stop by the both to buy the various little good luck charms etc, they change every year, last year was year of the dog, this year it is the year of the boar.
here we are on the steps leading down to the front gate, a little self portrait.
Sorry the quality is not so good, I just used my cell phone camera.
Well we are going home to bed, up early tomorrow to head to Costco for our New Year day tradition, shopping
Happy New Year to each and every one of you and I'm sure glad we are all here.
Cheers -- the New Years Kind!!
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward