When: 31/12/15 - 05/01/16: 12:00 am

Where: Meiji Shrine, 1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizonocho

Why not usher in the new year the traditional Japanese way?

Visit a Shinto shrine for hatsumode, the first visit of the New Year. People flock to these shrines throughout the first 5 days of each year, to pray for good fortune over the coming 12 months.

In Tokyo, there are no better places to go for hatsumode than the Meiji Shrine (pictured) near Harajuku, or Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, where you can celebrate the arrival of 2016 with a couple of million other Tokyoites. Strike up a conversation about mochi or the lineup of singers on NHK this year—no one will know you’re not from around these parts!

If you’re planning on checking it out on New Year’s Eve itself, take some warm clothes and expect to queue for at least a couple of hours.


How much: Free

Where: Shinto shrines around Tokyo

Image: Dick Thomas Johnson / Flicker, used under CC.

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