Japanese New Year 2020 at Sumiyoshi Taisha and Japanese Lucky Charms (Omamori)

Japanese spend a quiet and peaceful new year meaning no fireworks for new year count down. I came to Japan since 2013 and have been haunting for noisy and loud new year fireworks and countdown like many other countries.

However, I ended up at shrine/temple for my new year in Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka despite I witnessed the new year fireworks around 19:00~20:00 in Odaiba and Yokohama Port. All those fireworks are definitely before 00:00 and not the noisy one.

During this time, many Japanese go to the shrine to make a wish, ring the bell and eat soba. Soba is eaten during new year as biting soba is believed to cut old bad past and welcome the good new year. Some shrine offers you free soba now during new year after you ring the bell.

According to my own experiences, most famous shrines and temples are busy on the first day, second day and third day. Without any advanced planning and because of our busy tour schedules this year, we can only make it to the shrine on January 6th, 2020.

I was surprised to see so many people coming to the shrine on the 6th as at first I thought it would be only me and my parter.

January 6th is the first day at work for so many Japanese employees. Many of them come to the shrine/temple with their co-workers and bosses while they came with family in the past few days. Others came as they didn’t have chance to come during the new year period like us too!

Sumiyoshi Taisha is a shrine that’s famous among business owners. If you come here during the first 3 days, you need to line up for 3-4 hours under cold weather.

Everyone must cross this bridge as it’s believed to walk pass the old bad past toward the brighter and better new year.

Like other temples/shrines in Japan, there are many Lucky Charm designs at Sumiyoshi Taisha suitable for children, family, business people …

Following photos show the new year vibes. In case you wish to experience Japanese new year 2021 please don’t hesitate to plan your trip with us 🙂

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