Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hatsumode, Jan. 1, 2019

Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the year. Terukuni shrine. Best place for getting stall-sold takoyaki (fried, breaded octopus).

At 2 PM on the 1st, the lines to the shrine are out the parking lot, down the street and around the corner.

Shrine sake. You can either buy a small carton of sake for 500 yen ($4.75 SD), or go through the riutal of drinking from a small plate. For the ritual, you can pay as much as you see fit. I paid 100 yen for what turned out to be a sip of sweet sake. I was later told that most people only offer 10 yen. I'll know better next time.

Good luck charms include fans, rakes and arrows, from 1000 yen on up. If you have old charms from the previous year, the shrine has a drop off return point nearby.

Good luck plaques with images of a boar on one side (2019 is the year of the inoshishi). People buy the plaques, write their wishes, and then put the plaque on the board here.

Three lines, and still lots of waiting.

Have an inoshishi. We'll make more.

Finally, the shrine is in sight, Toss in your money, clap to get the kami's attention, pray, then move out of the way for the next person in line.

If you buy a paper fortune, you can tie it up here after reading it, to either get rid of bad luck, or to reenforce a good prediction.

Happy New Year. Don't have a cow, man. Be a boar.

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