Ushering in 2015 the Japanese way
Once again I find myself in Japan on the last day of another year. I was expecting to leave Japan some time around Christmas before I received another request to extend my assignment here to end of May 2015.
This year I ushered in the new year at Sumiyoshi Shrine in Fukuoka . It’s a smaller shrine compared to the one I visited last year (Gokokuji Shrine in Hiroshima). When I arrived at 11:30pm, the queue to the shrine was still quite short so I quickly slipped my way in. It didn’t take long after midnight before I got to the front of the shrine for the first prayer of the year.
After that, I explored around the shrine grounds getting myself an omikuji (it’s something like a fortune cookie but without the cookie) and some supper from one of the food stalls. All the while, people continued to pour in that by the time I left, the prayer queue has swelled all the way outside the shrine beyond the torii gate.
I wonder if the queue keeps going all night long. I wasn’t keen on staying around to find out though since it was a windy, chilly night.
How did you usher in 2015? Here’s wishing everyone a happy and fruitful year ahead!