Sunday, January 2, 2011


The Japanese New Year celebration, shogatsu, takes place from January 1-3. During shogatsu it is a tradition to visit a shrine or temple, and this first visit of the new year is known as hatsumoude, where visitors ask for safety, health, and good fortune. Many well-known temples and shrines are extremely crowded, as was Kobe's Ikuta shrine - pictured here.

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