Hatsumode, Visiting Shrine during New Year Holiday
The most popular shrine for Hatsumode (初詣, visiting a shrine or a temple during the New Year holiday) in Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社), the head shrine of thirty thousands of Inari (稲荷) shrines in Japan, founded in 711 A.D. Perhaps, many of you have heard of its famous Senbon-torii (千本鳥居, an archway made of approximately 10,000 Torii gates in vermilion color).
When I was a child, my father was running a business and he often took me there. I remember the sincere expression of his face when he was praying for the prosperity. I was always fed up with the huge crowd, but there were certain delights: my father always bought me Susume no Maruyaki (スズメの丸焼き, roasted sparrow eaten for the sake of rich harvests) and Kitsune Senbei (きつね煎餅, fox face-shaped rice cracker).
This year, ror the first time in a while, I paid a visit to the shrine and it was very crowded as usual. In my childhood, the shrine attracted people those who have wishes for business prosperity or bumper crops, but nowadays, many people visit there seeking benefits of academic achievement, safe delivery, and recovery from illness. As for me, I prayed for my good health!
1 min. on foot from Inari Station, JR Nara line
5 mins. on foot to the east direction, Fushimi-inari station, Keihan line
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