Saturday, 21 January 2017

Visit to a Shinto shrine during Japanese New Year

During the first 3 days of the year, many Japanese visit a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple to make traditional New Year's wishes for health and happiness, which is called "Hatsumoude".

Currently, Niigata prefecture boasts the top in the number of shrines built in Japan - about 4750 shrines. The most popular shrine for Hatsumoude in Niigata prefecture is the Yahiko shrine which is situated about 15 km from TSUBAMESANJO station. 

About 240,000 people visit there every year. The Yahiko Shrine is the most revered shrine and it has longest history among the 4750 shrines. Its history is dating back to the 8th Century - the main building was rebuilt in 1916. It is located at the foot of Mt. Yahiko and surrounded by deep forest with ancient cedar and zelkova. You will relax and feel so holy when you are standing in this revered shrine grounds.

After visiting the shrine, it is recommended to stop by the Yahiko Park which is famous for autumn leafs as well as Mt. Yahiko which you can enjoy wonderful views from the top.

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