05 January 2014

First of 2014

1.1.2014
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.

xx,


Shabrina

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