January 9, 2012

New Year's Eve in Tsukiji, Part 2: Namiyoke Jinja Shrine

Namiyoke Inari Shrine in Tsukiji, right next to the famous fish market. When the shrine was first established in the Edo era, in the 17th century, it stood on landfill at the edge of the water. In the centuries since, even more of the surrounding land has been reclaimed, but the shrine has remained significant. It is considered a guardian shrine to those who work in the Tsukiji fish market.

Since the shrine is a five-minute walk from Hongwanji Temple, it was easy to walk back and forth between the two on New Year's Eve.Visitors were not permitted to enter the shrine between 23:15 and 23:45 on New Year's Eve, as the staff were readying for hatsumode (the first shrine visit visit of the new year) goers.

Compared to the opulence of Hongwanji, Namiyoke Shrine was much more low-key, but there was a surprisingly long line of hatsumode visitors.

Past the new year, the line extended a couple of blocks.

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