New year's visit to shrines

Which shrine shall we visit this new year?
Our sun was away from home this year, so we didn’t have the energetic driver who took us as far as we wanted last year and two years ago.
We didn’t want to wait in a long queue, either, as we did at the Meiji Shrine last year.
We decided to visit the Tokyo Daijinngu which is a Tokyo branch of the Grand Shrine of Ise because we thought it was not so crowded there.

We left home after lunch in a relaxed mood.
When we went out of the nearest subway station Iidabashi for the shrine, we didn’t see any line ahead.“Ha-ha! Just as we expected.”
We started to go to the shrine.
When we came closer to the shrine, we saw a queue. It seemed that the end of the queue is in the direction different from where we came from .
I thought that the main route for the shrine was from JR Iidabashi station. Any way we shouldn’t jump the queue.

If we waited in the line, we couldn’t make it in time when we had promised to pick up. We decided to give up this shrine and turn to the Yasukuni Shrine which was not far from there because we hadn’t seen a line at there.
But when we passed the divine gate, there was a line. A guard there said that around three was the busiest time. We also gave up to pray in front of the worship altar and went home after buying charms for traffic safety.

I noticed that there were a lot of young people in the queue to the Tokyo Daijinngu.

When we couldn’t visit the shrine, we often felt a greater urge to do. We tried to visit there again the next day.
There were a lot of young people in the line. We deduced that the youth are late risers, so the earlier we went, the shorter the line must be. So we left home in the morning.
As we expected, the line was shorter than that of the previous day. After one hour’s waiting, we were able to enter the ground of the shrine.

First of all we were led to wash hands quite naturally. After washing hands, a female attendant handed us a piece of paper, something like large kaishi. What a nice treat!
After that while we were in the line, a young priest performed a ritual for a group of five or six.
When we approached the front of the hall of worship, we found a sign which showed how to worship. It said two bows, two claps and then one bow. And everybody did so.
We bought a charm too in this shrine. This shrine sold pretty designed charms, marriage tie charms and the price range was lower than that at other prestigious shrines.

At the end of the route worshippers were treated to Akafuku, hot tea, sacred sake and zennzai(sweet red bean soup). There was a lot of money offering on the big sannpou(white wooden tray) although there were no sign to ask for donation. It seemed that nobody took treats and went back without offering. I went under the big parasol-like stove and enjoyed the treats. I felt satisfied with the treats of this shrine. How susceptible to food I am!

by mamineko110 | 2011-01-23 23:17 | Comments(0)