There's something about taking photos of people in the street, particularly with a big camera, that presents certain obstacles. It seems like an an invasion of personal space and privacy to me. With a small camera, or in this case, a smart phone that is more discrete and so common place that no one seems to mind. I took several photos similar to this but the man walking by was such a character that I like this shot best.
At Shrines in Japan one will sometimes see 'Ema' such as these. Ema are small plaques that are sold at the Shrine. The idea is that you write your wish on the plaque and hand it on the Ema stand in he hope that the gods will grant your wish. The wishes are broad in nature; people wish for true love, to conceive children, to pass an exam - just about anything you can think of.