The first shrine visit at the beginning of each year is an integral part of Japanese culture, referred to as Hatsumode. Every year, people are faced with a variety of shrines they can choose from to pray for good times to come. Typically, a shrine visiter asks a so-called omikuji, written oracles, for his or her fortune. Those omikuji can be bought for a few hundred yen. The Daijingu near Iidabashi station in central Tokyo is one of the most famous shrines to visit in order to randomly draw written fortunes that are meant to be a guide for affection, relationships and love. Needless to say that these shrines, as well as almost any other event or festival in Japan, are usually very crowded with either young single girls or couples. The estimated time to wait for his fortune in front of the Tokyo Daijingu in 2010 was a couple of hours.
The Daijingu in Tokyo near Iidabashi station..
Shrines are typically well visited during the first weeks of a year.
Log lines of visitors.
The Daijingu is centrally located in Tokyo’s Chiyoda district at Daijingu Dori.
Local policemen are needed to coordinate the mass of visitors.
Going for Hatsumode at one of the more famous shrines in Tokyo usually means getting in a long line of visitors and waiting for more than an hour.