Holy Days 1- The South Side
The days after Japanese new year’s are days for pilgrimage. A deal of businesses are closed, and people visit holy sites and relatives all over.
With a lot of retail closed, I decided to follow the traditions and headed down to Sumiyoshi Shrine on the south side of Osaka on the morning of January 1st. Osaka is not a city with too many historic sites left after the one-two punch of American carpet bombing and Japanese demolition crews, but this place is so ancient it predates the city of Osaka by more than a thousand years. It is the headquarters of a series of shrines dedicated to three gods from the Japanese creation myth, gods of seafaring and travel thought to represent stars of Orion. It survived the American air attacks during the war, the south of the city having sustained less damage than the north, so it is ancient indeed.
And it was packed. Literally as many humans as could stand and walk together had come here.
Funny thing, members of some Christian church were camped outside the gates of the shrine with banners and loudspeakers in some sort of proselytism/demonstration thing. Nobody seemed to pay them any mind.