Do You Hatsuhinode?

Dec 31st, 2008 | By | Category: History & Culture

Hatsuhinode is the first sunrise of the year and is one of many firsts that the Japanese take note of during the celebration of the new year. This tradition has been practiced since ancient times – originally performed at the beginning of spring based on the lunar calendar, hatsuhinode is now practiced faithfully on January 1st and has been since the switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1873.

sunrise Wakayama Japan

Others firsts celebrated at the new year include hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the year and hatsugama the first tea ceremony of the new year.  Careful attention should be paid to all of your firsts of the new year to ensure that the coming year is full of good fortune.

The ideal place to perform hatsuhinode is at the waters edge or from a mountaintop.  Newscasts offer detailed information on the timing of the sunrise at various locations in Japan and many people flock to popular destinations to start their new year out well.  An ideal location for hatsuhinode would be a great sunrise view of a tori in the ocean at Wakayama, Japan as depicted in the image above.

Even if you are not in Japan you can still participate in hatsuhinode. Whether you are in the city or the country, near the ocean or landlocked, get up early and start your year off right by taking a moment to ponder the first sunrise of the year and all the hope an renewal that it represents.

In the meantime enjoy these other sunrise shots from around Japan.

Happy New Year! or as they say in Japan, Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu!

sunrise Fuji Five Lakes Japan

Sunrise over Lake Shojiko, on of the Fuji Five Lakes in the Chubu Region of Japan.

sunrise from Mt. Fuji Japan

Sunrise from Mt. Fuji in the Chubu Region of Japan

City Sunrise Hyogo Japan

A city sunrise from Takarazuka Station in Hyogo Prefecture.

Image Credit:  Flickr, sunrise no. 1, sunrise over the Lake Shojiko, Sunrise on Mount Fuji & Sunrise on New Year’s Day @ JR Takarazuka Station

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  1. Absolutely! Every year I try to photograph the last sunrise and sunset of the old year and then the first sunrise and sunset of the new. Had an interesting pallava this year at hatshinode…..which included a drunk stripping off and harassing me just as the sun broke the horizon. Pics nd a little story here:

    But, I got the picture!

    I always find the first sunrise is the best way of starting the new year. Great bout of fresh air, a walk, watch the sun come up, coffee, some breakfast some where. Great fun. First time I saw it was on a JR Shinkansen heading up to Akita, in about 2000. Thoroughly recommended as an experience.

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