Culture Local

Top 5 Spots to See The First Sunrise of the Year around Tokyo

Hatsu hinode(初日の出)” refers to the first sunrise of the year. In Japan, “Hatsu hinode” is celebrated at the crack of the year's first dawn, and lots of people go somewhere special to experience it. Some people climb up a mountain before dawn to see the first rays. 

This tradition has been practiced since ancient times – originally performed at the beginning of spring based on the lunar calendar, "Hatsu hinode" is now practiced faithfully on January 1st and has been since the switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1873.

In this passage, we would like to introduce the 5 recommended places to see the first sunrise of the year abound Tokyo!

1) Mount Takao (Tokyo Prefecture)

Mount Takao(高尾山) is great for hiking and enjoying nature in western Tokyo. Mount Takao is closely associated with tengu(天狗), minor kami from Japanese folklore. A Buddhist temple, Takaosan Yakuōin Yūkiji, is located on the mountain. “Geikousai(迎光祭)” or “Light-welcoming Festival,” is a famous traditional ceremony held anually at Takaosan Yakuōin Yūkiji on New Year's day.

Mount Takao(高尾山)

Address: Takao, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo Prefecture  193-0844
Access: Keio Takao Line, Takaosanguchi Station (5-min. walk to Takao Tozan Cable Kiyotaki Station)
Tel: +81-42-643-3115
Home Page:

2) Kasai Rinkai-koen Park (Tokyo Prefecture)

Kasai Rinkai Park(葛西臨海公園) is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. You can watch the sunrise behind Cinderella's Castle in Tokyo Disneyland. And a countdown event is held in front of the Ferris wheel, so it is a lovely place to go on a date!

Kasai Rinkai Park(葛西臨海公園)

Address: 2-1, Rinkai 6 chome, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo Prefecture  134-0086
Access: 1 minute by foot from Kasai-rinkai-koen Station on the JR Keiyo Line
Tel: +81-3-3877-0725
Home Page:

3) Shibaura-Minami Futo Park (Tokyo Prefecture)

Shibaura-Minami Futo Park(芝浦南埠頭公園) is a seaside park in Tokyo. The sunrise over Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba beach is absolutely stunning. There is good access from the center of Tokyo.

Shibaura-Minami Futo Park(芝浦南埠頭公園)

Address: 3-33-20, Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo Prefecture  108-0022
Access: 1 minute by foot from Shibaura Futo Park Station on the Yurikamome Line
Tel: +81-3-3790-2378
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4) Lake Shōji (Yamanashi Prefecture) 

Lake Shōji (精進湖) is the one of the "Fuji Five Lakes" and located in southern Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji. The name "Fuji Five Lakes" comes from the fact that there are five lakes formed by previous eruptions of Mount Fuji. You can see a magnificent view of Mount Fuji mirrored in the Lake Shōji.

Lake Shōji(精進湖)

Address: Lake Shōji, Fuji Kawaguchi-ko, Minami Tsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture  401-0336
Access: 40 minute by taking the Public Bus from Kawaguchiko Sta. to Lake Shoji
Tel: +81-3-3790-2378
Home Page:

5) Oarai Isosaki Shrine (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Oarai Isosaki Shrine(大洗磯前神社) is a historic Shinto shrine located on a bluff above the ocean in Ooarai, Ibaraki Prefecture. On New Year’s Day, the priests and priestesses of Oarai Isosaki Shrine go down to the torii to watch the first sunrise of the year.

We highly recommend this place to anyone who enjoys photography!

Oarai Isosaki Shrine(大洗磯前神社)

Address: Isohama-cho 6890, Oarai Machi, Higashi Ibaraki-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture  311-1301
Access: 30 minute by foot from Oarai Station on the Oarai Kashima line
Tel: +81-29-267-2637
Home Page:

Why don't you joining us in watching the first sunrise and celebrate the new years 2018?
We hope all of you have a wonderful and Happy New Year! 

Click here to find out more about the Japanese New Years Traditions.

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Koki Miyashita

Author & Editor