About 200,000 people, mostly office workers, prayed for good fortune on Monday (January 5) at one of Tokyo’s iconic shrines, Kanda Myojin, marking the start of 2015’s first official work day in Japan.
About 3,200 companies registered with the shrine to have their names read by the priest in front of the deities enshrined.
The shrine is thought to bring good luck to businesses and, though reconstructed several times due to fire and war, is over a thousand years old.
Praying at the shrine has become an annual event for thousands of Tokyo’s white-collar workers.
Kanda Myojin🙏🙏🙏 Have a wonderful year 2015✨✨✨ pic.twitter.com/zog9Oow1Vz— hidemi uehara (@mimi045) January 5, 2015
Takashi Nikaido, like many workers around the area, has made it a habit to pray at the shrine on the first business day of the year to get back into his work mode.
He is hoping Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s set of economic policies, known commonly as Abenomics, will help his company.
“With Abenomics and the Bank of Japan doing their monetary stimulus, I’m hoping this will be the chance where the economy gets better,” said Nikaido.
People queued for over an hour to get into the shrine to receive blessings.
“I’m hoping that I can become a better person compared to who I was last year,” said 38-year old office worker, Yoshihiro Kunihiro.