Dec 31, 2010

Japanese New Year

New Year is the most important holiday in Japan. Families gather to spend the days together, and most businesses shut down from January 1 to January 3.

Visiting Japan during the time may be inconvenient, as many tourist attractions, shops and restaurants are closed, but can be a good opportunity to experience the traditional atmosphere.


Hatsumode refers to the year's first visit to Shinto Shrines.
On this visit, people pray for many different things for the coming year, such as health, safety, passing an exam etc.
Each Shinto Shrine is said to have a significant benefit, and people go to the different shrine depend on their wishes.

My recommended hatsumode shrine is

Fushimi Inari shrine : The shrine for a good business Access : JR Nara-line, "Inari Station"

And Yasaka Shrine : The shrine for protecting people from evils Access : City Bus No.206 "Gion"

Dec 2, 2010

13th Dec. Kotohajime at Gion

Place: Gion district

Kotohajime, is the traditional ritual,
the start of New Year preparations in Geisha districts.

Geishas and Maiko, apprentice Geishas, visit their masters to express t
heir gratitude for the past year and best wishes for the year to come.

You may spot some of them if you walk around the Gion district on this day.

It's a very traditional ritual for Geisha and Maiko.
You can't miss it !!

Access: City bus 202,207 Gion