7 places to see the first sunrise of 2020 in Japan

By Hilary Keyes

According to both Shinto belief and Buddhist tradition, Toshigami—the god of the new year, harvests and the spirits of ancestors—arrives when the sun rises on New Year’s Day. If you stand outside and make a wish during the sunrise, you will be blessed by Toshigami and your dream will come true during the year to come.

Called hatsuhinode in Japanese, witnessing the first sunrise of the New Year is similar to other Japanese New Year traditions like hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the New Year, and hatsuyume, the first dream of the New Year. If you hadn’t guessed, the Japanese word hatsu (初) means “first.”

Whether or not you believe your wish for 2020 will come true, seeing the sunrise on New Year’s Day in Japan is indeed something magical, and probably a “first” in Japan for many foreigners!

While some say that the view of the dawn from the summit of Mt. Fuji is the absolute best place for hatsuhinode, it’s worth noting that January is outside of the official climbing season, absolutely freezing and also quite dangerous—so maybe not the best idea unless you have someone very experienced to guide you.

Happily, for us mere mortals not keen on hiking all the way up Mt Fuji on New Year’s Eve, there are lots of incredible places to see it all across Japan that are much easier, and safer, to access.

Here are our top picks for where to see the first sunrise of 2020 in Japan.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It too early in the morning for me. I would rather watch the first sunset of the new year.

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Youtube.  Enjoy the 31st, sleep as much as want.

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I have done it every year here since 1999/2000. I take the last train from Shinagawa to Misakiguchi and walk to Jyougashima. Then wait until the sunrise at the east end of the island. A ramen restaurant used to remain open but recently no longer. Free soup is served in the centre of the village. There are car parks.

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The moon phases, equinoxes, and solstices are more important to me than the made-up calendar with its numbered days. I'd rather see the sunrise on Winter Solstice, and sunset on Summer Solstice.

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If you actually want to see the first in Japan, you should be in the furthest east location..and that would be Minami-Torishima

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