As a long practiced Japanese tradition, people often go to shrine in new year to pray. They call it Hatsumoude. Usually with their family or friends to send prayers and gratitude from the last year and for the whole new year to come.

So on January 2nd, me and my husband payed also our visit to Mishima Taisya (Shrine), Located in Mishima City . The Shrine was packed with visitors as expected for the first week of the month. We made our way to the huge gate entrance and have to wash our hands first before entering the shrine.

In order to send our prayers, we entered to a waiting room where we have to wear a white vest after writing down our names and wishes in an envelope. After that, we went inside to the bigger shrine and there we prayed while the monk recited all our names out loud. Some as well sent their prayers by tossing coins outside.

Of course, lucky charms were available all around the shrine or so they called it Omamori if you want something to charm in more luck be it in your family, career or in a lottery. Other way was to draw a paper in a box that tells your fortune. If it’s bad luck, you have to tie the paper into the string and if it’s good luck, then you can keep it with you. You can also write it down to a piece of wood (all your wishes) and hang it along with the others.

And then there’s food! There were tons of food stalls just outside for you to enjoy after the long day. Who wouldn’t love a hot dumpling in a chilly weather?

As I was pondering, I believe at the end of the day, still what matters most is our faith and the faith towards our prayers, whether if you went on a church, a shrine or a temple. One way or another, I believe luck comes in with hard work and genuine heart.

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Twenty-two (22) Forward is inspired from personal experiences, intimate thoughts and life adventure created and authored by LOLISA MAE SAKURAI. A special mark to her 22nd chapter, the things in between, and everything beyond there is.

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