Full of Blessings! 5 Most Popular Osaka Shrines for Hatsumode Decided by Online Reviews
If you're spending the New Year in Japan, you should definitely try hatsumode. Hatsumode is the act of the first shrine or temple visit of the year to pray for safety and health for the upcoming here. Here are 5 recommended shrines in Osaka for hatsumode.
1. Sumiyoshi Taisha
Sumiyoshi Taisha is famous for having lots of visitors during hatsumode. Every year, the first three days of the year see more than 2 million visitors, and many people visit starting on New Year's Eve to pray for happiness throughout the year. During hatsumode, there are plenty of booths set up, so you can enjoy a lively atmosphere. This shrine has a very old history, and is said to have been built around the year 211. It's the main shrine of the around 2,300 Sumiyoshi Shrines around the country. This shrine is a good place for blessings for a successful business and family safety. There's also the Omokaruishi, a rock that's said to grant one's earnest prayers, as well as the popular power spots that is made up of three rocks called Godairiki-san that grant longevity, luck, strength, wisdom, or wealth. The main shrine, made up of four buildings, and the Sorihashi arched bridge were built using the oldest type of shrine architecture, Sumiyoshizukuri, so those are also must-sees.
2. Osaka Tenmangu
Osaka Tenmangu is a shrine where the deity of academia Sugawara no Michizane is enshrined, so it's said that this shrine brings great blessings for success in academics and art. This shrine was built in 949 under the imperial command of Emperor Murakami. Every year, this shrine is very popular for hatsumode, and many people visit for the occasion, especially students taking entrance exams that year. On the grounds, there are many trees and a Japanese garden, so you can also enjoy a charming atmosphere. On New Year's Day from midnight to 2:00 am, they serve guests with sweet white sake. Of course, you can enjoy the grounds, but they also put booths along Japan's longest shopping street, Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai, so there's a fun, lively festival atmosphere.
3. Hiraoka Shrine
At the foot of Mt. Ikoma is Hiraoka Shrine, and it's said to have been built around 663 BC, 3 years before the enthronement of Emperor Jimmu, Japan's first emperor. This history makes this a popular shrine, and it's said to be good for blessings for success in academia, victory, traffic safety, family safety, and peace. Since the deity Amenokoyane no Mikoto, a deity that governed in politics in Japanese mythology, is enshrined here, it's said that this shrine is particularly great for a successful career. This is a perfect shrine for starting the year with new feelings!
4. Kishiki Shrine
Kishiki Shrine offers blessings against bad luck, for a safe birth, and for love and marriage. The deity enshrined here offers a wide variety of blessings. It's also famous for the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri. Around 100,000 people visit for hatsumode, with a major portion of the visitors being women. There's also a chinjusha (Shinto shrine on Buddhist grounds dedicated to a deity of the area) at Kishiwada Castle, which was constructed around 1362 for farmers to pray for a huge harvest. This is a great sightseeing spot, since you can gaze at Kishiwada Castle while praying.
5. Mozu Hachimangu
The 800 year old camphor tree on the wide grounds is designated as a natural monument by the city of Osaka. There's lots of greenery around, and on weekdays it's quiet, refined shrine. It was built around the era of Emperor Kinmei (531 - 571), and the main shrine was built in the Edo period. You can feel history in the building's dignified shape. This shrine offers blessings for good luck and to ward away bad luck. During hatsumode, there are stalls set up so you can enjoy the true hatsumode experience.
Hatsumode begins at midnight on January 1st. The trains run all night between December 31st and January 1st in order to transport visitors to the shrines. All of the shrines are very crowded and have long lines on New Year's, but it's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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