A historic custom in Japan is to welcome in the new year with a prayer at the Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. In mid-January, the Shrine holds the Daikoku festival in honor of this tradition. Visitors on Asian vacations can pray for safety of their household, a rush of business or en-musubi, which means good-fortune or harmony in any relationship.
The festival, a highlight of Asia travel, features a Shinto dancer, who dresses as Daikoku, the Shinto deity of fortune. The dancer will celebrate visitors and worshipers "coming of age" by shaking a lucky mallet over their heads.
The shrine is available to visit year round, but the Daikoku festival really emphasizes the beauty and history of the area, as well as that of Japanese culture. One thing that is unique to all Shinto shrines is their Tori arches, which symbolize peace and harmony - important aspects of the New Year's celebration.
Visitors to the Kanda Myojin Shrine are encouraged to join in the festival, and experience the traditions of the Shinto religion, and the history of Japan.
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