"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Day
Here in Tokyo, people go to Shinto shrines at New Year - Meiji jingu, one of the largest in the center of Tokyo gets about 4-5 million people on New Year's eve alone, which means standing in line for a long, long time. We went to the local shrine in Urayasu and still stood in line for about 30 minutes

People write their wishes and prayers on these slips of paper and prayer boards and tie them here. Later, the priests will burn them in a special ceremony.

The kids and I in full kimono ---stylish but not built for warmth

Nick in front of the shrine fountain. Before you pray, you have to wash your hands and rinse your mouth.

A smaller side shrine adjacent to the main one.

The main shrine. When you get up to the ribbons, you toss your offering in a box - 5, 50 or 500 yen coins preferred for good luck --ring the bell to get the gods attention, bow twice, clap twice, pray, bow and make room for the next pilgrim

Happy New Year

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