Hatsumode at Nagoya’s Atsuta shrine
Hatsumode is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year. Some people visit a Buddhist temple instead. Generally speaking, Hatsumode should be completed within the first three days of January. However, it is said that one’s first visit during the month of January, whenever it takes place, will be satisfactory. Most of the people in Japan are off work from December 29 until January 3 of every year. It is during this time that the house is cleaned, debts are paid, friends and family are visited and gifts are exchanged. It would be customary to spend the early morning of New Year’s Day in domestic worship, followed by sake—often containing edible gold flakes—and special celebration food. During the Hatsumode, it is common for men to wear a full kimono—one of the rare chances to see them doing so across a year. The act of worship is generally quite brief and individual and may involve queuing at Atsuta Jingu!
All January 2019
Atsuta Shrine, Nagoya