Sorachi Shrine is located in Bibai City, Sorachi sub-prefectural area, Hokkaido. As I mentioned before, each municipality and community has its own shrine. Many people leave their house for annual worship before midnight and visited nearest or biggest shrine in their parish. We Japanese place the importance to spending hours for the annual worship on both of Dec.31 and Jan.1. In many cases, the primises of each shrine is so crowded and "Amazake ", sweet alcohol for mainly kids and females are served for visitors.
The worshippers couteously queue up in front of the building of the shrine and wait their turn in good manners.
At the front line of the queue, the worshippers throw the coins or bills into the box for donation and swing the thick rope connected to the bell to ring it. They bow twice to the God assumed to sit back in the inner part of the building and clap twice to call let the God know of their worship. Worshippers ask the God about their success, good health, peace, Jackpot in lottery, etc.
But sometimes such pretty stone dog guards the sacred area. His name is FUSO and it is assumed that the model of this stone guardian dog is the companion annimal that passed away years ago.
fox are painted in red and white.
This is the branch of IZUMO Taisya, head quartered in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture in western part of Japan.
Just before the World War Ⅱ, it was noised that Japanese people worshiped snake because of this ropes and the hatred Japanese itself.
Like other countries, many vendors are along the way from the gate to the shrine building.
A variety of vendors are selling food including confections. Cotton sugar called "Watagashi", Japanese pancake ball with octopas meat in it, Japanese pizza "Okonomi-yaki" and grilled sausages are popular in various kinds of festival in Japan. Now that it is in winter, naturally the kind of venders are limited. Goldfish fishing that is the must in summer festival is not appropriate in the cold weather.
After the worship, everybody pick up the fortunetelling paper, read the contents and keep it in mind.
What will happen in the year of Dragon in Chinese astrology ?