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People wait at the gate of Meiji Shrine to pray on the first day of the new year in Tokyo on Friday.

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wish i am there. good luck and good health

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Went there once during New Years, and, honestly, it was not worth fighting the crowds. Got much more enjoyment out of going first thing every New Years Day to Zojoji Temple and watching the monks do the sunrise ceremony. Truly "spiritual". Happy New Year to all JT folks.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Love the sign. No cattle prodding here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did this once in the mid 80s at Atsuta Jingu in Nagoya. Never again. I am about 6'5", and was bombed with coins folks were trying to throw into the offering area ! @Trevor - They also make continuous announcements about being careful of pickpockets ! Be happy and healthy in 2016 !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No, thank you! Have done this a few times in various parts of Japan, and even at Yasaka Shrine and Fushimi-Inari (long before it became the recent No.1 Shrine to view among foreign tourists), and while it was fun to see young people in Kimono and to eat at some of the stalls, it is just not worth fighting the crowds if you've been there and done that. I MUCH prefer going to a small, local temple or shrine and schmoozing with some neighbours or other locals, and the quietness of it. You also get to stand back and look at places which are open that are usually not, when there are no crowds pushing you.

Went to a small shrine yesterday morning and it was sunny and brisk; got to stand around the large fire pit and warm up while a kind old lady tried to explain my fortune slip to me (I didn't have the heart to tell her I can read and understand Japanese just fine) after explaining the process of how to pray. Sweetheart.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Went once and that filled me for a lifetime. I love our shrines here in Miyazaki, no crowds and polite people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Foreigners here are misunderstanding. Japanese people go to shrines and temples on New Year days to thank god for the past year and pray god a new year will be a good year for them. They renew their minds for a coming year before god. They are not going for fun.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Foreigners here are misunderstanding... They are not going for fun"

Two thousand years and they still don't get it. They probably never will...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Schopenhauer: I know plenty who go for both reasons, thank you, especially young people. I also know plenty of people who avoid the larger shrines for the exact same reasons people above have said they do. Are you seriously telling me when a young person takes the train 30km to the most congested shrine in Japan to be with other ikon clad friends instead of going to the myriad of shrines nearby they are NOT doing it for fun? There's a reason some are more popular than others, and it's not the god enshrined within.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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