Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Year's in Nihon

Mameshiba eats mochi

New Year's in Japan is the most important holiday of the year. The house is cleaned from top to bottom, special foods are eaten, and houses are decorated with symbolic decor to welcome in the New Year. Millions of people flock to shrines on New Year's Eve and the days following for their first shrine (or temple) visit of the year, called Hatsumōde
New Year's Decorations

We visited nearby Kamakura, which has over 70 shrines and temples, including one of the most significant Shinto shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū. The center city is closed to motorized traffic for three days after New Year's. We decided not to wait in line to get in to the shrine since the line was ridiculously long but it was fun to experience the festive atmosphere!

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