Aside from the religion of Shinto itself, Shrines are my favorite thing about Japan. The beautiful garden with meticulously trimmed and staged trees, scary koma-inu statures, the ponds with koi fish, the smell of incense sticks, rituals, and the list goes on.
I love the place for being so accepting of all selfish worshipers like me who come to pray only in new years to hope for a good year, or worse; when I want something like money, sex, and misfortune to people I hate (okay, I am Joking for the last one). I feel like every 10-yen coin (equivalent of a dime), the God of each shrine would grant me a blessing for my wish.
There are so many shrines in Japan. Shrines for meeting a new lover, shrines for breaking up with one, and even shrines for growing hair when you are going thin. Everyone can pray, and it is free to pray (I do like contributing 5 to 10 yen per wish. So generous of me…). It does feel good to pray whatever the wish is. Maybe that’s why I love shrines so much.