I took this photo while in Japan and it is in the grounds of a Shinto temple. The trunks of the trees are adorned with bad fortunes.
THE “OMIKUJI” FORTUNE. Most shrines sell fortunes called Omikuji おみくじ. Just look for a small rounded container filled with bamboo sticks at the shrine kiosk. Pay the attendant (typically 100 yen), pick up the container, give it a shake, and a long stick will pop out of a small hole at the top. The stick will have a number, which corresponds to a fortune. Based on your number, the attendant gives you a tiny slip/roll of paper on which is written your fortune. If you draw a good fortune, keep it, take it home with you. But if it’s bad, leave it at the shrine, don’t take it home. Just look around, and you’ll find a small stand with many strips of white paper tied on. These are bad fortunes and you should tie yours here too. The concept is “leave the bad luck at the shrine, where the divine spirit can exorcise it.