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Visiting Kamigamo Shrine on the New Year’s Day

A Happy New Year to all my readers!

How are you doing? I guess you all had a wonderful holiday. Here in Japan, we have a custom to pay a visit to shrines during the New Year season and it is called Hatsumoude (初詣).

As for myself, I had it on the New Year’s Day, to Kamigamo Jinja shrine (上賀茂神社), a site of the World Heritage, and one of the most long-established shrines in Kyoto. The shrine is officially called as Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja (賀茂別雷神社), and very famous as the site of the most representative festival in Kyoto called Aoi Matsuri (葵祭).

When I went under the first Torii (鳥居) gate, I already felt that I was getting close to the god. Whenever I walk on the approach path to the main hall, I always feel new and refreshed. In the premises, two sacred rivers, namely Omonoigawa (御物忌川) and Mitarashigawa (御手洗川), are running across.

Both sides of the entrance of Hosodono (細殿, the ceremony hall), two Mojrijio (盛り塩, cylinder shaped piled salt) are set, and they are regarded as the objects at which god’s power is concentrated. At this shrine, those Morijio are particularly called as Rissa (立砂). After passing in front of Hosodono, I finally went under the Romon (楼門, scarlet colored two storied gate) which leads visitors to the Main hall, and dedicated my sincere prayer to the god for the prosperity of this year.

Akane Kibune

Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade

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