Going “HATSUMODE” to Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine

In Japan, it is our custom to visit a Shinto shrine at the beginning of the year to make wishes for that coming year. This custom is called Hatsumode (the first visiting) and Hakone Shrine is full of visitors and life in early January because of it.

We recommend you experience this traditional Japanese new year at the shrine, making wishes, buying omamori (a charm or an amulet), hamaya (a purifying or demon-breaking arrow), kazaguruma (a luck-bringing windmill), kumade (a luck-bringing rake) and writing wishes and prayers on ema (a small wooden plaque).