Saturday, January 5, 2013

Visiting Kashihara Jingu Shrine (Hatsu-Moude) 2013

Happy New Year!
I'm now walking the approach to Kashihara-Jingu Shrine,Nara.
So many people are here!
At the beginning of the year,everyone visits Shrines or Temples to make a petition to the gods in Japan.
It is called "Hatsu-Moude".
This is the Main Hall of the Shrine.
What a big votive tablet!
Can you see big snake on it?
Why snake?
Because in Japan,this year is a "snake" year,according to Chinese astrology.
Snake has long been regarded as "sacred animal" in Japan,like many other countries,
so this animal has long been an object of faith,even now.
This old lady is praying eagerly for God.
Maybe she's praying for the well-being of her family,or be healthy,or success in business,etc.
Unlike Christianity,our great concerns are whether this God is beneficial and responsive to us or not.
We offer money (coins) to a deity before praying,and in return,we expect God to benefit us!
Benefit is important,yes,our motives are not so pure,compared to Christianity.We admit that :)
These are ritual arrows to drive away evils.
It costs $37.
They're tieing the fortunetelling slips.
This is dedication.This is Japanese custom.
This is my fortunetelling paper!
What is it saying?
My fortune is "a little luck" this year.
It's saying "Stay calm,and wait for a good chance."
Well,it seems that I made a good start this year.

I wish you all happiness and joy this year! :)


  1. I love this post, Kumiko! You even explained the customs. I'm glad you have a good omen this year.
    My husband is a "snake", so can he count on a good year in the Snake's year? Is it the water snake year?

  2. Thank you for sharing this ! I wish you lots of happiness and joy too for 2013. I think we can all use a little luck for the coming year :) Only 3000 yen to drive away evil ? That's a very reasonable price :)

  3. @Traveling Hawk,
    Thank you,Traveling Hawk!
    Exactly,you're right.This year is "water snake" year.How did you know that? I'm surprised.
    Water snake year occurs once every 60 years! So seen grobaly,this year is really special,like "the night before the drastic change".I hope the world economy will change to a better situation.
    Be careful about emotional instability this year,your husband,I heard that :)

  4. @Walter,
    Thank you,Walter!
    Hahahaha! Indeed,it would be cheap if we can drive away evil for 3000yen :)
    Yes,these items are believed to keep off bad luck and bring us good luck.Must items in New Year :)