These photos are from 2013, when I was lucky enough to visit Japan with my sister. My sister (on the utmost right) and a couple of her team mates are reading the “ema” at a shrine just outside of Tokyo.
“Ema” is the name given to the wooden plaques that people write their prayers on and leave to hang in a Shinto shrine.
Across the shrines we visited, we must have comes across hundreds of these plaques, in many different languages. I felt a little like I was peeping in on the personal hopes, wishes, and dreams of strangers by reading, but it was also calming to find so much positivity in them.