the front Torii gate for Ikushima Tarushima Shrine
Hatsumode literally means ‘ the first visit to a shrine or a temple’, and this year we visited the Ikushima Tarushima Shrine in Ueda city.
My fellow blogger, Tyler-san has written about the shrine with a perfect explanation
so I will save the details on the shrine, but instead of the serene and quiet atmosphere of the shrine which Tyler-san depicted, the shrine on new year’s holiday was very festive and crowded.
this bridge is allowed to cross only during the New Year holidays
There was a long queue to cross the vermillion bridge which locates in the center of the shrine and leads to the main hall.
This bridge we heard, is open only during the New Year’s holidays for people visiting the shrine for their Hatsumode.
Other than the season, the bridge is saved only for the Gods and no one is allowed to cross it.
Once crossed the bridge we were right in front of the main hall, and making an 8 people lined queue by the instuction of a priest, we made the official visit to the Gods.
“a light bow- 2 deep bows- 2 clappings of hands- a deep bow- one last light bow”
is the politest official courtesy to Gods. Of course you may make a wish afte clapping the second hands.
ducks inside the shrine site