My outing today was to 今宮戎神社 (Imamiyaebisu Shrine). This was my first time visiting a Shrine in Japan, and it happened to be the one that I can see from the window of my apartment. It's amazing to me how the density of Japanese cities results in such beautiful, old-style architecture nestled amongst the towering, modern cityscape.
Imamiyaebisu is the shrine of Ebessan, god of business. Every year the "十日戎" festival (literally, "10th day Ebisu", being on the 10th of January) takes place at this shrine. According to Osaka Visitors' Guide:
During the Toka Ebisu Festival, people buy sacred bamboo branches decorated with lucky items in hopes for the success of their businesses.
The atmosphere in this sacred garden was shocking. The bustle of the surrounding city melts away, and the heavy spiritual presence envelopes you — magnified by the other visitors, heads bowed in prayer, clapping twice to greet the diety. You immediately feel calm, humble, and at peace.
I will absolutely be seeking out more shrines and temples during my stay here.