Written by Hilary Keyes
Celebrate The New Year In Japan! The Top 8 Shrines To Visit In The New Year
If you're planning on spending the New Year in Japan, there are a few important things you'll need to know, and plenty of places you'll want to check out to make the most of this season. Here's our guide to getting the most out of New Years in Japan!
New Year's is celebrated in numerous ways by people living in different countries all around the world, and Japan is no exception. Within Japan itself, there are traditional and modern ways to ring in the new year, with everything from special decorations and greetings cards, to special soba noodles and shopping deals.
If you'd like to learn more about home-based ways to celebrate New Year's in Japan, take a look at The New Year’s Essentials In Japan and From Lucky Bags To Shrine Visits - Enjoy New Year The Japanese Way!
The Main Event of Japanese New Years - Hatsumode
The Japanese tradition of visiting shrine or temple for the first time in the New Year is called hatsumode.
The first visit of the year may take place immediately on New Year's Day in order to hear the joya no kane (New Year's Eve Bell), or it may be delayed for a few days (or even a week), but is commonly celebrated by praying for good fortune in the year ahead, success in various fields, and by purchasing special omamori, or talismans meant to help these prayers come true.
2018 will be the Year of the Dog
Depending on the Chinese Zodiac sign of the year, you can also find special amulets, small figurines, or even carved statues of that year's animal too, only available at that specific temple or shrine. To learn more about how to pray at a shrine or temple, check out Temples, Shrines and Charms - A Summary of Japanese Religion.