Before i continue on the Snowboarding vacation post, i wanted to do this first.
Usually done on January 1st, Hatsumode 初詣 is the first visit to a shrine of the new year. Though most folks do it on the first week, the first few days can be quite the terrible experience especially with the more famous shrines.
I went Hatsumode a few days back with my sista Hitomi~ She's back from San Francisco and its a great year for both her husband and her. she's PREGNANT! she already at the 5month mark but i can still remember the day i found out. nothing beats news of pregnancy
We went to one of Japan's most prominent Shrines in Tokyo, Meiji Jingu (Located in Harajuku)
This is where you leave your old charms/amulets and get a new one for the new year, if not you'll be packing up loads of charms from previous years.
Barrels of "Sake" for celebrating the new year
Highly baffled by this but they seem to have wine and quite the display as well
Before entering the main temple, one must first purify and cleanse themselves.
There will be a cleansing basin at every shrine, one must purify and rid of the impurities and cleanse the body/spirit with the water.
Entering the main temple through the south gate
Meself and Hitomi~
behind us is the place where you offer your offerings to the gods and pray for health, happiness, love etc. i didnt do it because i'm catholic but it was awesome seeing everyone else.
(fortune telling by choosing a random strip of paper with predictions written on it)
Familiar scene from various animes
"Ema" with wishes written on them and placed in the shrine grounds.
one can buy various omamori for different purposes. Health,wealth, love, safety, studies etc
check this out.
these are all HAND written by elementary students. how pretty is the handwriting.
i can never do something like that.
After we walked all the way out of the entire temple grounds, we went across the road to Takeshita dori and got ourselves crepes.
I've got some major sweet tooth and crepes are one of my guilty pleasures, even in dead of winter.
We walked passed the newly (well not that new but) open AKB48 STORE in Harajuku.
it overtook the Lotteria that was the "landmark" meeting point which i kinda missed.
we went over to shin okubo for dinner afterwards which was awesome!
i cant express how much i love korean food, spicy and oh-so-good.
Well i'll be back with the part 2 of the niigata snowboarding vacation in a day or 2.
i have tons of assignment to catch up on thanks to a whole weekend of DOING absolutely nothing at all.