Yakuyoke (厄除け）is another custom which many Japanese people follow around this time of the year. People practice ‘yakubarai’ (exorcism of bad luck) or ‘yakuyoke’ (avoidance of bad luck) at their ages of calamity, in order to pre-empt adversity or misfortune by the help of Shinto and Buddhist deities. Yakuyoke always happen on the same day of “coming – of – age day 成人式” (the Sunday, in the middle of January) and the day after that day.
The picture shown here are at Hokoji temple. Hundreds of pilgrims were there at the night on the 13th of January.
On the way to the temple, there were many (very Asian atmosphere) booths selling lucky charms and foods.
For Yakuyoke mairi (pilgrimage), these temples open their gates until very late at night for 2 days from the 13th to 14th of January.
If you are interested in rituals and common custom of Japan, visiting these temples may be a good idea! (Though it is very cold at night!)