Hatsumode, hatsuhinode, the “firsts” of the year
Celebrating the new year in Japan also means paying special attention to the first time something is done in the new year.
Hatsuhinode is the first sunrise of the year. Before sunrise on January 1, people often drive to the coast or climb a mountain so that they can see the first sunrise of the new year.
Hatsumode is the first trip to a shrine or temple. Many people visit a shrine after midnight on December 31 or sometime during the day on January 1. If the weather is good, people often dress up or wear kimono.
In addition to the other firsts mentioned above (“first sun” (hatsuhi) or “first sunrise”, “first laughter” (waraizome—starting the New Year with a smile is considered a good sign), first dream (hatsuyume), and “first letter” (hatsudayori—meaning the first exchange of letters) – in addition to haiku-specific ones), other “firsts” that are marked as special events include shigoto-hajime (the first work of the new year), keiko-hajime (the first practice of the new year), hatsugama (the first tea ceremony of the new year), and the hatsu-uri (the first shopping sale of the new year).
Here you will see the first visit to temple. Please enjoy the pictures and wish you all great 2012.