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Paying a visit to a shrine on a New Year’s Day is called Hatsumode (初詣で)in Japanese. When I found out that we will be spending our New Year in Japan a few years back, I made it a point to make Hatsumode a part of our to-do list.

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Among the shrines in Japan, we chose to visit Meiji Shrine, which is located in Shibuya, Tokyo , because it is the one nearest in our place. We got there by taking the JR Yamanote line and took off at Harajuku station.

Meiji Shrine is also one of the most famous Shrine in Tokyo.

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This is where the visitors of the shrine leave their written prayers. The sign above reads : Omikuji wa jumoku no hogo no tame eda nado ni musubanai ni onegaishimasu(おみくじは樹木の保護のため枝などに結ばないようにお願いします。) which translates to “In order to protect the trees, please do not tie the fortune slips(prayers) on tree branches.”

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I believe that a cultural experience is what makes a person closer to a certain place. And for a cultural experience, a shrine visit is definitely something that will top my recommendation list.

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