Being able to tell what will become of you is a highly regarded skill in some quarters of Japanese society. Fortune tellers will await custom on the streets of Shinjuku and provide details of whether a business venture will work or when a girl will meet the man of her dreams. I must admit though, I've always wondered that if they were that good, how come they're waiting for customers instead of just turning up when they know the customer will be there.
One of the beauties of Japan is this adherence to traditions. As people walk past a shrine they will stop for a moment in thought and to offer respects. Religion in Japan, though not as directly representational as in many other countries, is deeply ingrained. It is quite an experience to visit the Meiji Shrine on New Year's Day and be part of the throng more than a million deep coming to ask for good fortune in the coming year.