20 January 2014

Seijin no Hi // Furisode Galore

Jan 13, 2014

Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Tokyo

Last week was "Seijin no Hi" or coming of age day. I decided to see how things felt like on this special day, so I went to Meiji Jingu, a shrine located in Harajuku, Tokyo. In Japan, someone is regarded as an adult when they turn 20. In this special day, all girls will wear a special kind of kimono called "furisode", a long-sleeved kimono that is worn by unmarried woman on ceremonial occasions. 

I went here all alone, because my friends were reluctant to go out that day. They were tired, and so was I actually. But I just couldn't help going out to snap some furisode pictures, so yeah, I finally went out, accompanied by my camera. What a fun "me time", it was.

Seijin no hi usually falls on the second Monday of January. Because of the cold weather during that period, furisode is commonly combined with faux fur on the collar side to keep the one who wears it warm.

You know, I was following this girl in orange furisode below like a freak until eventually I managed to say these words, "may I take a picture of you?" in Japanese. 
It wasn't easy for me to say this at first, and it indeed took a lot of pluck for me to finally did it. I really put effort to gather my courage. Since Japanese are well-known for their shy character, I thought that it won't go smoothly. But then, oolala... to my surprise, it just worked flawlessly. hahah. At the end, I got accustomed to saying it to everyone that I wanted to take the picture of.
anyway, I love this girl's expression. flat but meaningful. you name it.
they're looking so gorgeous from head to toe !
Now, let's sneak into the inner part of the shrine :)

that perfect combination of furisode and faux fur. looking so winter(y) <3

purple furisode, so beautiful !

beautiful patterns and super long sleeves. I just couldn't stop awing at this.
Everyone was so lovely that day. The hairdo, the clutch, the faux fur, the obi, everything ! If I were a Japanese, I could wear furisode and come to seijin shiki ( the celebration of the coming of age day) since I turned 20 too on June, last year.


Haha guess who took this photo ? The mom of the girl next to me took it. They both were so kind. I felt lucky that I also could have a picture of me. mehehe.

Usually, after I finished with photo taking matters, I always said "thank-you" and "congratulations" for officially becoming an adult, in Japanese. It was so much fun and thrilling !

Seijin shiki itself was held in the city hall or hotel ballroom. The participants gathered there and heard to the elderly's speech. Finish with it, they went to shrines or temples to pray for their new life as an adult. So basically there's no special attraction for common people unless seeing girls with beautiful furisode. 

Anyway, these are some pictures of Meiji Jingu itself. It was still in the vibes of new year the time I went here.

 This shrine is located adjacent to Harajuku station, hence it is so easy to find this shrine if you plan to come to Tokyo. Many traditional events are held in here, and this place is free of charge. Even you can see Japanese shinto traditional wedding ceremony too ! I've been here twice and I always managed to see wedding ceremonies, so I think it's not a rare opportunity to see such precious things here. I highly recommend this place ! ;)

Until the next post, guys ! xx


05 January 2014

First of 2014

First Sunrise - Enoshima Beach

Procrastination led me to post this until today. At first, I thought that I would just post it away as soon as I got back from the beach, but...then I looked at my phone and it said that today is January 5 already (pardon ?). It feels like it was just yesterday when I woke up early to catch the sunrise at Enoshima beach. 

2013 had been a really great year for me. I got a scholarship to stay and study in Japan, made new friends with people around the globe, and at almost the end of the year I got an enlightenment about what I am going to do after I finish my undergraduate degree. 

Nothing make me alive except dreams and hopes. Dream brought me here, meeting new best friends with different cultural backgrounds. Although sometimes different point of view leads us into small clashes and arguments, but later we just realize that how we see things are just different and try to accept each other's opinion. And we back to burst of laughs again. 

Oh and how about my good old pals ? We remain the same although we are separated by distance. Nothing changes or I do hope so. We pray for each other success and laugh out loud every time we recall our silliness in the past. Because good friends will always be good friends, no matter how and when we met. We stay for each other, and will always be.

Hatsumoude (First visit) - Enoshima Shrine

I just realized that there was no fireworks here and there all around Japan during new year celebrations. The people here tend to celebrate new year in a calm way such as spending the off time with family eating new year's dish and playing new year's games. And the thing that is never missed during new year is going to the shrine. Luckily, I did all of those things with my friends. What a blessed new year !

After we enjoyed sunrise, we headed to Enoshima shrine that is not so far from the beach. We did hatsumoude or the first visit to the shrine during new year. Hatsumoude is a part of Japanese customs on celebrating new year. They will go to a shrine, sending their new year hopes to God. It was extremely crowded all along the way from the gate of the shrine until the inner part. The thing that I amazed the most about Japanese is that everybody was queuing in peace and always giving a space for each other to stand comfortably.

Wash our hands and rinse our mouth before entering the shrine

While queuing to pray at the altar of the shrine

These are Omikuji or fortune papers. People usually draw omikuji when they come to a shinto shrine and so did my friends. The price of omikuji for each shrine is different. Here in Enoshima shrine it costed 200 Yen each.

Once we unroll the folded omikuji, we will find a divination about our near future written on it. It usually emphasizes on general advice on things like health, travel and business. Fortunes written on it are divided into different levels of luck and misfortune. 

And fortunately, my friends got good lucks written on their first omikuji in 2014 ! yeah. See how happy they are :>

And for the ones who doesn't satisfy with their omikuji result, they will usually tie and leave it at the shrine

Well, that's all about my first day in 2014. 
I wish this year will be the year of endless dreams and efforts. May the goodness of last year continue and the shortcomings diminish.



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