Published Jan 1st, 2012
Hello, everyone! I hope all of you are having nice New Year (*^_^*). Today, I’d like to introduce an article about one of our imperative New Year’s events, which is New Year’s visit to a shrine.
Most of Japanese visit a shrine in January simply to wish the best of New Year for themselves, their family and so on. Some serious prayers leave their home on New Year’s Eve to be at a shrine when the date is changed to the 1st of January. Some people will go sometimes in the first 3 days of New Year, depending on weather. Although we usually visit the place directly, there are some new services, which offer you online visit to a shrine.
According to the article, a shrine in Miyagi pref. is offering online appreciation for prayer’s service, so that you can ask the shrine to pray for you while you are at home. Like general prayers’ sessions, you can pray for your family’s safety, health or good luck by paying 3,000 yen of prayers’ fee (equivalent to US$38), and a e-talisman will be sent via e-mail.
It seems more and more shrines are selling their good-luck charms for New Year online now, too. For example, a shrine in Yamaguchi pref. is offering wide range of online purchasable items, ranging from charms to hamaya or sacred arrow to invite good fortune and ward off evil. In addition to them, even mail magazine, official movies and twitter are available from this shrine! Sounds very modernized, doesn’t it～? w(･o･)w
Also, there are a shrine which allows you to see prayers’ session onilne for 300 yen (equivalent to US$4), and one you can experience online gomagyo (see above images) or homa service. You can even find a fictional one, which enshrines a character of a website!! This virtual shrine has no relation to actual Shinto at all; however, you may be able to enjoy little bit of shrine atmosphere by drawing omikuji or fortune lot.
Well, the fact that it is not a real shrine is undeniable, but omikuji may be a good idea to feel the taste of New Year’s visit a bit!
If you could go to a shrine with no problem at all, it may be better to visit shrine directly. But when you are not feeling very well or you’re an elderly person or pregnant woman, who may struggle to be in a massive queue in front of a shrine, such online services will be the one for you
Please let us know about your country’s event for New Year, too♪
This is JAPAN Style!