We went to the Oharano Shrine for Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the New Year. In Japan, it is a custom to go to a shrine or temple to pray for a long life and happiness during the new year. Many people goes to Hatsumode on the first, second, or third day of the year, so usually every shrines and temples are so crowded on these days. That's why we go to the shrine after the new year holiday so that we can avoid crowds.
I believe the gods can take care of our prays when not so many people are around! I always make a wish for one thing.