First Make a Wish(初詣), Hikawa Shrine(氷川神社[相模原]), Japan, Jan 2, 2014

« Hatsumode(初詣) » is one of traditional events for Japanese to visit a shrine or a temple during the first 3 days of New Year. According to « Top 10 popular places for Hatsumode« , No1: Meiji-Jingu(明治神宮) in Tokyo, No2: Narita-San-Shin-Shoji(成田山新勝寺) in Chiba(千葉), No3: Kawasaki-Daishi(川崎大師) in Kanagawa(神奈川). Chiba and Kanagawa are prefectures next to Tokyo in Kanto(関東). Looking over Top 10, Kanto dominates 6 ranks out of 10.

As you look at some pictures about Hatsumode, People!! People!! People!! it’s crazily crowded. I dislike to be squeezed and wait. I’ve never been to such a poplar place. In my case, I go to a shrine close to my mother’s home, 10 minutes walk every year. It is Hikawa-Shrine(氷川神社) in Sagamihara(相模原). There are over 200 shrines named HikawaHikawa-Shrine in Sagamihara is a branch shrine. The headquarters Hikawa-Shrine is in Saitama(埼玉) which is at No.9 in popular ranking.

A shrine is a symbol building for Shito(神道) which is an indigenous religion having histories dating back more than 2000 years in Japan. Shinto teachings regard everything as God, for example, sun, moon, sea, sky, land, mountain, river, stone, tree, flower, animal and insect etc. The kanjirepresentation of Hikawa is 氷川. « 氷(Hi) » means ice. « 川(Kawa) » means river. There used to be countless rivers which often overflowed. People in former days considered this was because « The God is indignant. » They built a shrine near a river to calm God’s anger. That’s why Hikawa-Shrine has « 川(Kawa/river) » in its name.

I went to Hikawa-Shrine in Sagamihara for first making a wish on the 2nd of January. This is because the 2nd day is less crowded than the 1st day. Although this is a 2nd day and Hikawa-Shrine in Sagamihara is a branch shrine, I had to be in the long line. It took about 20 minutes to have my turn for making a wish.

The Torii(鳥居)/gate of Hikawa-Shrine.

The Torii(鳥居)/gate of Hikawa-Shrine.

Purify yourself by washing hands

Purify yourself by washing hands

Making a Wish

Making a Wish

Ema(絵馬) for writing down your wish

Ema(絵馬) for writing down your wish

My New Year’s resolution

It’s « Write! Write! Write! in English« . The last year’s resolution was « Read! Read! Read! ». I read a lot, new sites, blogs and hilarious sites last year. I encountered quite a lot of wonderful and impressive expressions.
Mm..Mm..Oh..I get to know how native English speakers express about this matter. I repeated, repeated and repeated those in my mind. But, I forgot on the next day. More correctly to say, I can still understand those expression when others use on the other days. However, when I express, I always say « How can I say? Oh, I can’t find any words. » I try to make my memories arise in hippocampus. It doesn’t work well. Finally, my mind go blank.

I believe writing prints memories in my hippocampus. No matter how wrong. I don’t mind. No matter how weird. I don’t mind.  Just, « Write! Write! Write! ». I bring shame on myself with my own will in the Internet. Better to write lots of mistakes than never. I posted my trips and Japanese festivals so far. I’m going to post another subjects as well to increase my vocabularies.

I vow that I « Write! Write! Write! » this year.


2 réponses à “First Make a Wish(初詣), Hikawa Shrine(氷川神社[相模原]), Japan, Jan 2, 2014

  1. Same thing with me. Grammatical errors don’t bother me at all. I care less about making mistake. It reall is making the message across. It is a very endearing quality to know and learn a different language than our own. More power and have fun with your practices. 😀 Kudos!

    I love that tradition. I actually went to one and there were insane tons of people. I’m so happy to have experience Japanese New Year tradition.

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