Saturday, January 9, 2010
Meiji Jingu with 3 million visiting on the first days of the New Year (Hatsumode), is the most visited temple in Japan.
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 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.
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.
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”.
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.
After leaving the main hall, there is amulet office where amulets and lucky charms can be purchased.