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Taga Taisha Shrine is a short walk from Taga Taisha-mae Station on the Ohmi Railways Line. It's Shiga's most popular shrine during New Year's.
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Monument in front of the train station.
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Torii in front of the train station. "Otaga-san" is the shrine's nickname.
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On Jan. 1, 2014, a steady stream of worshippers head for Taga Taisha Shrine.
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The crowd gets thicker near the shrine's entrance.
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Shrine gate. Go in at left and exit on right side.
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Stone bridge, closed due to snow.
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A long line to the shrine is what awaited. This was a lot more people than Jan. 1, 2005 when I visited the last time.
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Took maybe an hour to get to the shrine. MAP
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This place was also jammed. Water fountain where you wash your hands and rinse your mouth for purification. 手水舎
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Sacred horse. Lot of people took photos of this since 2014 is the Year of the Horse.
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This long line lasted through most of the day. About 490,000 people worshipped here during the first three days of 2014. New Year’s prayers is called Hatsumode.
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Sorry I couldn't wait in line and went to the front and prayed from the side and instead of front and center.
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New Year's Day at a large shrine in Japan is such a spectacle.
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Giving New Year's prayers at Taga Taisha shrine.
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These people insist on praying front and center of the shrine. Even though they can easily go to the left or right side of the shrine to pray more quickly.
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The shrine name means, "Many Felicitations," hence its popularity during New Year's.
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Hope all or most of their hopes and prayers will come true this new year.
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Money pit for monetary offerings. A few days from now, we will see happy bank employees counting the money from shrines.
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Taga Taisha is dedicated to Izanagi and Izanami, husband and wife deities who created the islands of Japan and many other gods such as Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess. According to the Kojiki Ancient Records, Izanagi retired in Taga, so this shrine was built.
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Taga Taisha Shrine, Shiga. Taga Taisha rethatched its roof and celebrated with a festival in Oct. 2007.
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Large groups of worshippers pay a fee to attend prayer ceremonies.
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Buying New Year's decorations and charms.
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Talisman sales
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A fire to burn old New Year's decorations and to warm yourself up.
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I was waiting for this. Sacred dances by shrine maidens who looked to be high school girls.
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In the morning and early afternoon of January 1 and 2, shrine maidens perform sacred dances (初神楽) on the Noh stage.
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Best to see my video of the shrine maidens dancing on Jan. 1, 2014.
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Dance by shrine maidens on New Year's Day 2005 at Taga Taisha Shrine.. Also see the 2005 video at YouTube.
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Kaguraden stage where they performed sacred dances. They would dance on Jan. 1 and 2, in the morning and early afternoon.
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Most of the snow had melted.
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Amazake (sweet sake, non-alcoholic) for 300 yen/cup to warm you up.
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Preparing gallons upon gallons of amazake (sweet sake, non-alcoholic). 300 yen/cup.
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Ito-kiri mochi, a famous local confection in Taga, Shiga.
   
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