In Japan, along with watching the first sunrise of the year, there is also a very popular tradition of doing the first prayer of the year soon after the new year arrives. People make huge waiting queues in temples and shrines waiting for their turn.
As I spent the countdown in Zoujouji Temple (増上寺), I did my first prayer of the year (初詣, はつもうで, hatsumoude) there. Here are some pictures of it!
Everyone waiting, as the bell rang 108 times, symbolizing the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief.
I personally think the bell sound along with the music Buddhist priests are playing, create a really interesting atmosphere.
Meanwhile, yesterday I went to do some more sightseeing. I went to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observatories (North and South) – pictures coming soon! – and I went to Yasukuni Shrine too.
In Yasukuni Shrine there were really A LOT of people queueing for the first prayer as well! Watch the pictures below!
Japanese people really like this kind of events. There were food stands everywhere, with everything you can think about Japanese food. Of course I ate my lunch there as well 🙂
Anyway, Yasukuni Shrine pictures coming soon too!