Hatsumode: New year’s visit to a shrine

We went to Akasaka Hikawa shrine last weekend as hatsumode (new year’s visit to a shrine). This shrine is where we held our wedding ceremony.  Though located in the busy area of Tokyo, it’s very calm and we love it.

Torii, shrine gate.


Temizuya (or chozuya) to wash hands and mouth for purification.


The gate of the shrine was decorated with two big pine branches.

Although it was already January 10th, the shrine was crowded.

After praying and getting ofuda (amulets) and omamori (good luck charms), we drew omikuji (randome fortunes). My luck this year was “Chukichi (middle blessing)”. Well, it’s not bad! I liked the advice written there.

Some people whose omikuji’s result was not good tie it to a branch of trees in the shrine precinct. We kept ours with us.

Amazingly, ume blossoms, a herald of spring were blooming already.



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