Bishop Emeritus Taisen Miyata and all the staff priests conduct the fire rite of the new year, this time the Year of the Snake (Hebi-doshi or Mi-doshi), according to the esoteric Shingon Buddhist tradition.
The Oshogatsu (New Year’s) fire ceremony begins with chanting a mantra and beating a taiko drum and concludes with otoso (tossing sake). Distribution of mochi to those who were born in the Year of the Snake will follow.
Various omamori (amulets), hamaya (good luck arrows), omikuji (fortune-telling strips), ema (wooden wish plaques), and consecrated ofuda (talismans) are available to visitors on the occasion of Hatsumode, which means the year’s first visit to a temple for prayer.
Located at 342 E. First St. between San Pedro and Central, the temple opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the first three days of the year. More than 3,000 visitors are expected. For further information, call (213) 624-1267 or visit www.koyasanbetsuin.org.