Hatsumode is a popular New Year's event in Japan. People visit temples or shrines at the beginning of the year to pray for safety and peace during the year. Usually, people visit the temple before January 7th; temples and shrines often have events during this period, so you can enjoy the new year praying the Japanese way.

Meiji Shrine is the most visited shrine in Japan during New Year

Meiji Shrine is the most visited shrine in Japan during New Year

Meiji Shrine is one of the most representative shrines of Tokyo, the object of worship is the Meiji emperor and empress. Although the shrine is located in the center of Tokyo, it has a wide forest in its compound. This was an artificial forest earlier, but now a “real” forest! You even can feel the spiritual energy from trees here. Just by visiting this place, you will have a nice feeling and confidence to start a wonderful year ahead.

Meiji Shrine is the most visited shrine in Japan during New Year

Every year during the new year season, street food markets are held in the compound. There is Yakisoba (the Japanese fried noodles), Okonomiyaki (the Japanese pancake), Takoyaki (the ball-shaped Japanese food with octopus in it), and so on. Many people come here looking for these.

SPOT INFORMATION

  • Opening hours and schedule
    • 6:40am 31st December ~ 7:00pm 1st January
    • *visit is available all-night during new year eve
    • 6:40am to 6:30pm during 2st ~3rd January
    • 6:40am to 6:00pm at 4th January
  • Address: 1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Access:
    • 1-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station,
    • 1-minute walk from Meiji Jingu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line or Fukutoshin Line)
    • 5-minute walk from JR Yoyogi Station
    • 5-minute walk from Yoyogi Station (Toei Oedo Line)
    • 5-minute walk from Sangubashi Station (Odakyu Line)
  • MAP:

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (成田山新勝寺) with 1080 years of long history

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (成田山新勝寺) with 1080-year of long history

This is one of the most popular Hatsumode spots in Japan with 3 million visitors every year. Many foreign visitors visit this temple too since it is close to Narita Airport. In the Edo era, people deeply believed in the worship of this temple, the Fudo Myouou (不動明王), which was commonly called the “Ofudousama”. If the Kabuki show had “Ofudousama” role in it, then it would be crowded with people. Besides temples, there are also parks filled with natural beauty in the compound. There are also spots with spiritual energy that might bring you good luck and benefit. You can spend a whole day here. After the visit, you should try the eel here. There are a lot of famous eel restaurants located at the Sando (参道, the pathway to the shrine/temple).

SPOT INFORMATION

  • Opening hours and schedule
    • 12:00am to 7:00pm 1st January
    • 6:00am to 6:00pm 2nd January
    • 6:00am to 5:00pm 3rd ~7th January
    • 5:30am to 5:00pm 8th January ~
    • *The compound never closed
  • Address: 1, Narita, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken
  • Access:
    • 10-minute walk from Narita Station (JR Narita Line)
    • 10-minute walk from Keisei Narita Station (京成本線/ Keisei Main Line)
  • MAP:

To ward off evil spirits, you should visit Kawasaki Daishi (川崎大師)

To ward off evil spirit, you should visit Kawasaki Daishi (川崎大師)

Established in 1128, the Kawasaki Daishi temple worships Kouboutaisi (弘法大師). This temple was known for the “Yakuyoke no Otaishisan (厄除けのお大師さま)” with the power to expel evil spirits. Homakitou (護摩祈願/ the pray of Homa) is held daily to expel evil or to make wishes come true. Especially during the new year, people visit this temple for the Yakuyoke(厄除け) or the intention to be blessed with household safety, road safety, and business prosperity.

During the new year season, a lot of stalls open at the pathway to Kawasaki Daishi. A well-known specialty is the “Tontoko Candy (とんとこ飴)” stall, where the candy is cut rhythmically.

SPOT INFORMATION

  • Opening hours and schedule
    • 6:00am 31st December ~ 8:30pm 1st January
    • 6:00am to 7:30pm 2nd ~3rd January
    • 6:00am to 6:30pm 4th January ~
    • *The compound of Kawasaki Daishi never closed
  • Address: 4-48 Taishi-cho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa
  • Access:
    • 8-minute walk from Kawasaki-Daishi Station (Keikyu Daishi Line).
    • *Transit to Keikyu Daishi Line is available at Keikyu Kawasaki Station
  • MAP:

Want to make a wish about business prosperity? Then visit Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku

Want to make a wish about business prosperity? Then visit Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku

Hanazono Shrine (花園神社) is the best place in Shinjuku for Hatsumode. This shrine is said to be the spiritual guardian of the local area. This shrine also has a deep relationship with entertainment, and a lot of celebrities come to pray at this shrine. Every New Year season, this shrine is very popular for entertainment-related staff or managers who are making a wish for business prosperity. In addition, Shinjuku has plenty of restaurants and stores open even on the 1st day of the new year, so you can enjoy shopping and lunch after your Hatsumode.

SPOT INFORMATION

  • Opening hours and schedule
    • 8:00am 31st December ~ to 10:00pm 1st January
    • 8:00am to 7:00pm 2nd January
    • *The shrine compound neve closed.
  • Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
  • Access:
    • 0-minute walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station E2 Exit (新宿三丁目駅) (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line or Toei Shinjuku Line)
    • 7-minute walk from Shinjuku Station East Exit (Odakyu Line or Keio Line) 
  • MAP:

Want to try Inari Sushi? Toyokawa Inari

Want to try Inari Sushi? Toyokawa Inari

Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) was founded around 600 years ago, and many samurais and highly-educated people believed in this shrine. In the Edo era, this shrine was believed in as a god of prosperity to business and household peace nationwide. This shrine is one of Japan’s 3 biggest Inari shrines with millions of visitors every year. There are many restaurants which you can enjoy including “Wasabi Inari”, “Gomoku Inari” and other kinds of Inari Sushi near to the gate.

SPOT INFORMATION

  • Opening hours and schedule
    • 11:45pm 31st December ~ 9:00pm January
    • 5:00am to 9:00pm 2nd ~ 3rd January
    • 5:00am to 7:00pm 4th January ~
    • *The precinct of Toyokawa Inari is opening all day
  • Address: 1 Banchi, Toyokawa-cho, Toyokawa-shi
  • Access:
    • 5-minute walk from Toyokawa Station (JR Iida Line or Meitetsu Toyokawa Line) 
  • MAP:


This article's information was gathered on 11/15/2018.

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