Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I attended a gokitou ceremony for the first time today at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Granite Falls, WA. We have visited the shrine on New Year's Day several times before, but this is the first time I've attended a ceremony here in Washington or in Japan. I enjoyed it, the setting and tone of the ceremony was very relaxing and a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and focus on goals for the new year.

I would recommend visiting the shrine to anyone from Japan or in the U.S. and interested in Japan. It's about as close as you can come to experiencing Japan while still being in the U.S. I believe it is one of only two Shinto shrines currently operating in the lower 48 States and it's located in a very scenic wooded area near the Pilchuck River. If you are going on New Year's Day I would suggest going early because parking is limited. Also dress warm because when its a cold day it's even colder in the shade down by the water.

Happy New Year everyone, have a great 2015!