Oshogatsu 2: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

On January 3rd, we went to Kamakura to visit some shrines and a temple.  First stop was Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (鶴岡八幡宮).  We had planned to get an omikuji (fortune) and a charm for the baby, but things didn’t go as planned.

On our way to the shrine, it was obvious that there were a lot of people that had the same idea as us.  We walked down the shopping street a bit, then decided to walk along Wakamiya Oji until we got to the shrine.

The main shopping street in Kamakura was very crowded.

At Wakamiya Oji, plenty of people posed for pictures next to one of the dog statues.

Wakamiya Oji was decorated with lanterns to celebrate the new year.

A close up of an old stone lantern.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu's San no Torii stands big as always.

The stone bridge that only the shogun was allowed to cross.

Looking pretty crowded, and there are plenty of yatai (food stands). It's like a festival.

Lots of yatai. My wife is in this picture, right of centre.

I waited in line for about 3 minutes. This is how many people were in front of us. Incredible!

At this point, we decided it would take far too long to wait.  There were several thousand people at the shrine, and it would probably take a couple hours or so of standing.  We had other places to go.  So, we decided to leave, and I got a couple of interesting pictures.

Lots of masks with famous characters, including Kitty, Pikachu and Power Rangers. There were many guards and police officers at the shrine.

There were guards dressed in red uniforms anywhere. Very bright. He wasn't posing for me in this picture.

I was surprised about how many guards in red there were.  But there were other guards wearing a standard dark blue uniform, as well.  We took a little break to have something to eat near one of the exits.  Unfortunately, my wife had an incident when I was in the restroom.  A little girl pushed her from behind, and when she turned to see who did that, the little girl’s parents were laughing at what she did.  My wife got angry at them, but that made them laugh even more.  Unbelievably rude!  They thought it was funny that their girl pushed a pregnant woman.  That soured the mood a bit.  Anyway, we decided to move on to our next destination, which I will show in part 3.  But first, a parting shot.

We left the shrine through this torii.


Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Shrines

6 responses to “Oshogatsu 2: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

  1. I am sorry to hear about your wife being pushed! How shocking.

    Also, that the shrine was so crowded! I thought after the first week of the year it would of died down some. Do you think anything else was going on at the shrine?

    • Well, this picture was taken on January 3rd, which is the second last day of shogatsu. And Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is one of the most famous shrines in Japan, being one of the busiest in the country. It’s probably the busiest place in Kamakura 🙂

  2. Ri

    Ooooh! My dad and I went there on the morning of the 1st!
    Although it was obviously crowded, it wasn’t terribly so. there was a nice flow to the crowd and we hardly waited at all t get to the actual shrine to pray. ^^)b
    then we went to Enoshima and…無理! haha!
    Wondeful area – I also liked the smart men in red coats. Seemed a little bit out of place, but looked very smart in any case. ^^

    That’s awful to hear about the pushing incident with your wife though! Not a good start to the year. I hope she’s fine – even if it perhaps wasn’t strong enough to physically hurt her, it can be enough to give a bit of a fright. Especially when faced with an unexpected/incredibly not sorry reaction like that ><;

    • The line seemed to be moving slowly. And it was more like a large mass of people rather than a line 🙂

      A student of mine went to Enoshima on January 1st, but found it impossible to get on the island by car. Huge traffic jam. He gave up trying to go there, and instead headed for Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Also no good. The traffic was too heavy. So he and his family just went to a local shrine near their home.

      My wife wasn’t hurt, but she was basically just angry and couldn’t believe their behaviour.

  3. What a crowd!

    The incident where your wife was pushed? And the parents’ reaction. Such rudeness! @.@

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