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02 January 2008

New Year's Day in Japan


On the first day of this new year, I visited the city's most famous shrine, Meiji Jingu. It is located in the center of Tokyo in a huge forest park. I had to wait for an hour to get to the altar. In the New Year's Week, they set up special big altar for the huge visitors. When you reach the altar, you throw a coin to make a wish for the new year. The altar becomes like Trevi Fountain in Rome. The sea of coins on the white matt. See the below photo.

There was a huge crowds and so many shops in the shrine. It was almost a big festival going on but if you go out of the shrine and walk on the shopping streets. You can find quiet streets with shattered shops. Usually, Japanese New Year Days are quiet time and holidays for the family gathering like Thanks Giving Holidays in the U.S.  

You can see what it is like on New Year's Day in Tokyo on this You Tube site.

The footage shows from the entrance of the shrine to the quite shopping streets. In between it has scenes of waiting crowds forced to view the commercial of Kleenex on the big monitor screen, people walking towards the altar, throwing coins.



13:40 Posted in Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Tokyo, Japan

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