We woke up to snow on New Year’s day on the outskirts of Inuyama City, near the border to Gifu prefecture. With everyone sleeping in, we decided to go for a walk.
Hoping for a good year, a traditional thing to do the on the first 3 days of the new year is to visit a shrine, hatsumode (初詣). Some visit a neighborhood shrine while others may go to a well-known shrine, such as Meiji Jingu in Tokyo which is visited by 3.5 million on New Years. At the neighborhood shrine in Inuyama, they were serving oshiruko (red bean soup) with mochi to all visitors.
We decided to head into Nagoya and see if there was anything open where we could eat.
The train was plastered with ad for New Year’s sale starting on Jan 2nd.
In the Nagoya area, Atsuta Jingu is the destination shrine and visited by a couple of million hatsumode-ers. The shrine was packed and the queue long to reach the shrine, where you can throw coin offerings into a collection box – actually for hatsumode, its a huge tarp.
Once you’ve made you’re offering, many go and buy lucky charms and get their random fortune – pay, drop a stick out of a box with a random number, get handed a fortune matching that number, and read. If the fortune is bad, you can fold it up and tie it on a tree on the shrine grounds hoping it won’t come true.
Then go eat junk festival food…
A long railroad crossing near Atsuta Shrine.
I came across another neighborhood shrine while walking near Nagoya Castle…