I think Indian Gods must be feeling envious about their counterparts in Japan? Japanese Gods seem to be only busy during the first few days of New Year! When Japanese people visit Jinja (神社) or Taisha (大社) to pray for the peaceful and prosperous New Year. Occasionally other festivals too, but New Year time seems to be the busiest time of the year.
On the other hand, Indian Gods seem all year busy welcoming and attending people to small and big temples across India. At least once a month, they get swamped with pilgrims due to some or other festivals.
For the last few years, I have been visiting Shrine on the first day of the new year in Japan. This year also was no exception, I visited Miyajidake Shrine with my family. It was, as usual, busy and crowded. People from all over Kyushu prefecture and other parts of Japan will visit here for the next few days.
(Miyajidake Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Fukutsu, Fukuoka, Japan)
But usually, I don't visit temples in India (nothing related to my faith) for two primary reasons. First, they are always crowded & not so clean. Second, people come to the temple in search of peace but never seem to be at peace. There is always a rat race. Everyone is in a hurry to reach near the idol of a deity. For that, even we are ready to pay for Fast Track Pass, VIP Lines, and resort to many other ways.
On the other hand, I love visiting Shrines, Temples in Japan. For one simple reason, I don't know if God lives there, but for sure, tranquillity lives there. They are super clean.
People in Japan maintain order and self-discipline and care for everything. Shrines (Jinja) are no exceptions. Generally, there are no strict rules when it comes to praying at a shrine, and everyone seems to do it just a little differently. Regional customs are common, but the way of praying can differ a little by Shrine. However, there are general worship practices and etiquettes, a routine that works for every Shrine you plan on visiting.
There is less burden on you, there is something different, which I am yet to find in temples in India.
There is no such special purpose for me to write this blog. I simply hope someday people in India will understand that God is where there is peace, no rush. No religious affiliation but only pryers for universal peace.
Happy New Year! I wish you a peaceful, joyous and healthy 2020.