Marking the entrance to the shrine complex is a huge torii gate made of cypress.
Lanterns line the forested path to the main shrine area. Upon reaching this point, it is easy to forget that we had just been in a huge crowd of jostling people a few minutes ago outside Harajuku station.
Along the pathway, you come across of wall of sake barrels, which were donated to the shrine.
As we approached the main shrine area, there was water trough where we could purify ourselves.
The process consists of using a ladle to take a small amount of water from the trough, pouring some water over one hand on to the ground, switching the ladle into your other hand and pouring water over your other hand.
Besides a few large tour groups, the central shrine area was very peaceful. There were vendors selling amulets for various things such as good health, good grades, and safe travel.
Prayers could be written on wooden tablets and hung on a rack outside.
|Prayers written in many languages|
For Raisin Bread and myself, this was the first opportunity we had to visit a Shinto shrine and made for the perfect start of our first day in Japan!