Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year temple visit at Meiji Jingu

Meiji hatsumode return
Meiji Jingu with 3 million visiting on the first days of the New Year (Hatsumode), is the most visited temple in Japan.

Meiji hatsumode
Hatsumode is the Japanese tradition to visit the temple the first week of the year. Brave souls visit the temple at the first hours of the New Year. I visited a few days later, when it wasn’t so crowded.

Meiji Hatsumode
Meiji Jingu is located in the Shibuya area, next to the Yoyogi park, main entrance is next to harajuku station, which has an access gate for these dates only.

Meji jingu
After a short walk through the Meiji jingo forest, which may take a couple of hours on New Year day, visitors purify themselves at the temizuya next to the front gate. The front gate is a magnificent structure at the entrance to the main yard.

Meiji jingu main hall
After passing the front gate, visitors can access the main hall, on New Year day, there is a large crowd in front of the hall, and police controls the access to the offertory “box”.

New year offerings
The crowds are so large that a huge plastic mat is spread in front of the hall as an offering box, visitors throw coins as offerings.

Meiji amulet office
After leaving the main hall, there is amulet office where amulets and lucky charms can be purchased.
Amulet shoppers at Meiji

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2 comments:

Tornadoes28 said...

They must make a lot of money at the offering box and amulet booth.

island4jp said...

Indeed, in this case the minimum offered is 100 yen (although I saw many 10,000 yen notes) and more that 3 million visitors, you can do the math.