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A Day in the Life: New Years in Kyoto - Album on Imgur
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A Day in the Life: New Years in Kyoto

by Jan 5 via iPhone

Happy New Year Imgur! May this year be better than the previous one. Y'know, the one we don't talk about. This post is about a glimpse of the New Years celebration in Kyoto, Japan. It's one of the most important holidays, and also one of the only occasions when the family goes out to visit temples and shrines together to pray for a prosperous year. Here we are waiting in line for praying.

And while we wait, appreciate the sky and the scenery. Although not much can be seen in the picture here, this forest was the very place the age-long civil war in Japan broke out that also destroyed the majority of Kyoto.

Torii gates are the entrance to shrines. If you have torii gates lining up to form a path, you're probably entering an Inari shrine, where you'll find foxes and can pray for good business and fortune. In total, they have over 2000 Inari shrines in Japan, and the main shrine is the Fushimi Inari shrine here in Kyoto. You've probably seen it in pictures with the vermillion tunnel. Might make a post about it in the future, so stay tuned!

Hi mom.

Another Inari shrine.

Streets in Kyoto city are relatively flat, except for the ones in the outskirts and near the mountains that pop up in places like here. But once you get to the top, the reward is great.

Shrine maidens, or Miko. They're also pretty busy during this time of year, so appreciate their work when you see them. Or not.

New Year offerings are given to smaller shrines like these as well. You'll notice the round rice cake and sake.

Bring on the sake! Sake is one of the most popular forms of donations, especially because of its deep ties with the national religion, Shinto. The gods are pleased.

And sake again.

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