Skip to content


Hatsumōdë 2024

The January 22nd issue of Jinja Shinpō had an article about hatsumōdë, as normal for this time of year. The Noto Earthquake, of course, cast a pall over things this year, but hatsumōdë went ahead in the rest of the country and, as usual, it was strongly influenced by the weather. For the article, Jinja Shinpō contacted five major jinja around the country. The first was, of course, Jingū. This was the only jinja to give a number: they had 377,011 visitors over the first three days of the year,… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2024

The Practicalities of Receiving Offerings

The survey of priests’ experiences of hatsumōdë that I discussed last time also covered a couple of issues related to money: the service charge on depositing coins, and cashless payments. These are both serious issues for jinja, and both become more pressing around hatsumōdë. The new bank charges for depositing coins have had a large impact. A number of jinja reported finding a lot of small-denomination coins in the offering boxes this year, and reasonably concluded that people had decided that, rather than depositing them and paying the charges, they… Read More »The Practicalities of Receiving Offerings

Hatsumōdë Survey 2023

I mentioned in my earlier post that Jinja Shinpō was gathering more information about this year’s hatsumōdë. That information was published in the February 13th issue. The newspaper asked the priests who are affiliated with it as local reporters about their hatsumōdë experiences, and they received responses from 373 people across the whole of Japan. This is not a randomly selected representative sample, but it does cover a wide geographical area and many types of jinja, so it is the best data we are likely to get. The first thing… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2023

Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

As normal, Jinja Shinpō is writing about hatsumōdë, an event that is central to the viability of many jinja. There was a front page article in the January 23rd issue, which I will write about here, and they are planning another article soon, when they have collected information from their reporters across Japan. This article primarily relied on contacting a number of prominent jinja, in different areas: Jingū, in Isë, Meiji Jingū in Tokyo, Takëkoma Jinja in Miyagi Prefecture, Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, Hōfu Tenmangū in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Munakata… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

New Year in Japan Video

Greg Lam at Life Where I’m From has put up a video about New Year’s in Japan, featuring me. The video should start at the beginning of the description of hatsumōdë, which has a voiceover by me, and quite a bit of footage that I filmed at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin last new year (so, the year before last, moving into last year — the footage actually crosses midnight). This one should start later in the video, with some scenes of people going to Shirahata-san on New Year’s Day last year.… Read More »New Year in Japan Video

Hatsumōdë Survey 2022

This year, Jinja Shinpō carried out a survey of its local correspondents to ask about the state of hatsumōdë, and reported the results in the 14 February issue. They did this last year as well, to find out how the pandemic was affecting smaller jinja. The particular questions this year were about whether numbers of visitors had increased, decreased, or stayed the same since last year, and since the year before last (which was before the pandemic had made it to Japan). In addition, there was a space for the… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2022