Ise Jingu Shrine is among the country’s most popular shrines for Hatsumode (New Year’s Eve), located in Ise City, Mie Prefecture. Every Japanese knows Ise Jingu, it has a history of about 2,000 years and is one of the most important and sacred cultural shrines in Japan.
Before midnight on January 1st of each year, crowds come from all over the country to celebrate Hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the new year to pray for prosperity (prayers and requests for the coming year).
The Sanctuary is so crowded during the first three days of the New Year that there is almost no room to walk. The Japanese come to throw money into the offertory and silently pray for a new year with love and peace, giving thanks for the year that is over and asking for health, prosperity, happiness and luck for the year to come.
Write your hopes and dreams on wooden boards to hang to bring good luck throughout the year and also to purchase talismans and amulets of various gods blessed by the shrine.
According to Ise Jingu, around 330.000 people visit the shrine annually during the first three days of the New Year.
And when the clock strikes midnight on the first day of the year the crowd erupts in applause.
On this cold night, many people gather to warm themselves by a large bonfire.
Other Japanese arrive at the shrine before dawn to enjoy the sunrise through the Shrine Entrance Portal (Torii).
It is dawn and the faithful are arriving at the sanctuary, day and night during the first three days of the new year the sanctuary is crowded.
New Year’s Eve at Ise Jingu Shrine (Oshougatsu): From December 31st 5:00 pm onwards until January 4th.
Parking: There are several parking lots around the shrine with prices ranging from 500 to 2.000 yen.
* On New Year’s Eve it can be visited all day including night
Mie Ise Ujitachi-cho 1