Japanese customs in January: Hatsumōde

We Japanese visit to a shrine or temple at start of a year.
This custom is called “初詣 (hatsumode)”.

We thank God or Buddha for what went well at last year.

What is Hatsumode

Hatsumode is an event to pray for safety and peace for the year by visiting a shrine or temple (a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple), or church for the first time since the start of a new year.


This is called hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.

Hatsumode is considered to have become a common practice not so long ago but during the middle of the Meiji period.
The first visit to a shrine or temple at New Years’ is not done for religious reasons, but rather to pray for things such as health for ones’ family and prosperity in business.

Most Japanese visit shrines not for religious reasons but because it is an annual event that has a different atmosphere.

For japanese peope,Hatsumode is alittle festival.
There are shrines where many stalls line up and sake and food are sold.

The rule of Hatsumode

There is no special definition for hatsumode.
Generally, hatsumode refers to the visit made during the first three days of the New Year, but it is also said that there is no special problem if the visit is made sometime in January.
It is said that the target of hatsumode can be either a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple.

The look of Hatsumode

Popular spot of Hatsumode

1:Meiji jingu (明治神宮)

Number of visitors:3.17million

hatumode meijijingu

●LocationTokyo / 1-1 Yoyogisami-ga Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

2:Naritasanshinshoji (成田山新勝寺)

Number of visitors:3.09million

hatsumode naritasanshinshoji

●Location:Chiba / Narita 1, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken


Number of visitors:3.07million

hatsumode kawasakidaishi

Location:Kanagawa / 4-48 Osamu-cho Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa


Number of visitors:2.91million

hatsumode sensoji

●Location:Tokyo /2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo


Number of visitors:2.50million

Hatsumode Tsuruokahachiman

●Location:Kanagawa /2-1-31,Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi Kanagawa


If you visit Japan in January, please go to Hatsumode. See you!