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Hatsumode is a New Year’s visit to a shrine or temple to pray for happiness and health for the year.  Shrines and temples become very lively with visits by many people.

1. Inage Sengen Shrine (Chiba city)

The Inage Sengen Shrine, which is popular as the god for safe delivery and child-raising, is also readily responsive to prayers for good luck / protection from misfortunes, family safety, and successful business. During the first three days of New Year, this shrine is visited by about 300,000 people - from 13:00 on the first day, Junizakagura (Shinto music and dance), which reproduces the world of Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters), is dedicated to the shrine.

 

- Location: 1-15-10, Inage, Inage-ku, Chiba city

- Access: 15 minutes’ walk from Inage Station on JR Sobu Line or 3      minutes’ walk from Keisei Inage Station.

2. Chiba Shrine (Chiba city)

With the spectacular fall foliage spreading across its Momijidani precipice, Yoro Valley is one of the most popular “leaf-peeping” spots.  Enjoy colorful autumn leaves as the path goes across various torrential points while trailing through the valley.

Access: 50 minutes’ walk from Kominato Line Yoro Keikoku Station
Location: Yoro River Valley located between Ichihara City and Ohtakimachi


3. Kemigawa Shrine (Chiba city)

This shrine is one of the only two shrines that specialize in Happoyoke (protection from various disasters) in Japan, and is responsive to prayers for eliminating all kinds of disasters based on land physiognomy, house physiognomy, directions, the kind of day, the luck attending one’s age, feng shui, and others. From 0:00 on January 1, the Happoyoke Festival will be conducted. On New Year’s Eve and at night on the first three days of January, a bonfire will be made.

 

- Location: 1-1, Kemigawacho, Hanamigawa-ku, Chiba city

- Access: 7 minutes’ walk from Shinkemigawa Station on JR Sobu Line, or 1 minute’s walk from Keisei Kemigwa Station.


4. Daihonzan Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple (Ichikawa city)

In the first year of Bunou (1260) during the Kamakura period, Lord Toki Tsunenobu, who lived in Hachimanso Wakamiya and became a follower of Saint Nichiren, built the Hokkeji Temple as his house, and Ota Jomyo in Nakayama built the Honmyoji Temple. These temples together form the Hokekyoji Temple. On the temple grounds, there remain many important cultural assets, including the 5-story pagoda, and the only Soshido (a hall dedicated to the founder of the temple) of a building structure, called Hiyokuiri Omoyazukuri, that presently exists in Japan as a temple cathedral, which is a government-designated important cultural asset. On New Year’s Eve, visitors can ring the watch-night bell (approximately first one thousand visitors). At 10:30 and 13:30 on the first three days, a New Year’s special prayer meeting and the Kishibojin Festival are conducted.

 

- Location: 2-10-1, Nakayama, Ichikawa city

- Access: 8 minutes’ walk from Shimousa Nakayama Station on JR Sobu Line or 5 minutes’ walk from Keisei Nakayama Station


 

5. Hondoji Temple (Matsudo city)

Hondoji Temple is said to have been a mansion of the Hiraga family – ancestry of the Minamoto family. In the 3rd year of Kenji (1277), a disciple of Saint Nichiren named Nichiro was invited as a teacher, and the Jizodo (hall for the guardian deity of children) in the territory was moved and opened as Hokkedo, and it was named Hasesan Hondoji Temple by Saint Nichiren. Together with Choeisan Honmonji Temple in Ikegami and Chokozan Myohonji Temple in Kamakura, Hondoji Temple is a noted temple following Nichiro’s teachings. * From the evening of New Year’s Eve to the first three days of January, admission and events will be free of charge.

 

- Location: 63, Hiraga, Matsudo city

- Access: About 10 minutes’ walk from Kitakogane Station on Chiyoda Line

 

6. Fuse Benten (Kashiwa city)

The Fuse Benten enshrines Yatsude Benzaiten (eight-armed goddess of fortune), who listens to prayers for good fortune, treasures, wisdom, love and respect, victory over the devil, elimination of all disasters, elimination of diseases, and increase in profit. The watch-night bell is allowed to be rung by the first 108 visitors, and on January 1 and 3, a musical band is dedicated. There will also be Kodama drumming on January 2.

 

- Location: 1738, Fuse, Kashiwa city

- Access: Take a bus bound for Fuse from Kashiwa Station on JR Joban Line and get off at the last stop (operated only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). Weekdays: Take a bus bound for Akebonoyama Koen from Abiko Station, and get off at Akebonoyama Koen Iriguchi stop and walk 15 minutes.


7. Sogo Reido Sanctuary (Narita city)

Though this sanctuary is familiar as Sogo Reido, it is officially called Meishozan Toshoji Temple Sogo Reido. Sogo Reido was built in the memory of those who died when General Sakanoue Tamuramaro suppressed a civil war in Boso during the reign of Emperor Kanmu. During the age of Ietsuna, the fourth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, Sogoro Sakura (Sogoro Kiuchi), a self-sacrificing man who directly appealed to the shogun to save the people of the Sakura Clan, was crucified for the punishment of his direct petitioning. Sogo Reido is his family temple, and at the 100th anniversary of his death, a posthumous Buddhist name of “Sogodokankyoshi” was given, which led to the current name of Sogo Reido. On the temple grounds, there is the “Sogo Reihoden,” which exhibits Sogoro Sakura’s mementos, as well as the “Sogo Goichidaikikan Hall.”

 

- Location: 1-558, Sogo, Narita city

- Access: 10 minutes’ walk from Keisei Sogo Sando Station.


8. Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (Narita city)

This name is known throughout Japan as “Fudosama (the god of fire)” of Narita. Being the headquarters of the Shingon Sect’s Chizan School, this temple is visited by about three million people during the first three days of New Year (the largest number among temples), and dedicated to the image of Fudomyo-o carved and consecrated by Saint Kobo Daishi. Since the temple was opened to the public, prayer for fulfillment of the wish of followers of the Fudo faith, with the lighting of a sacred fire, has been conducted every day. On the temple grounds, there are five buildings that are government-designated important cultural assets, including a three-storied pagoda that was built during the Edo era, and halls and cathedrals displaying the excellence of modern architecture, as well as Naritasan Park, a garden that extends to 165,000 m2 (free admission) where the beauty of the four seasons can be enjoyed. For 2008, an exhibition of the Buddhist images is planned commemorating the 1070th year since the foundation of the Naritasan Temple. Also, the completion of the main gate, which has been a long-cherished wish for the present front entrance, was celebrated on November 28, 2007.

 

- Location: 1, Narita, Narita city

- Access: 10 minutes’ walk from Narita Station on JR Narita Station or Keisei Narita Station.

 

 


9. Katori Jingu (Katori city) Katori Jingu enshrines Futsunushinokami (god of swords and lightning), which has been revered as a god that calms wars and protects the Japanese nation since the ancient times. Honored with the title of Jingu, Katori Jingu is the number one shrine in the province of Shimofusa. The present main shrine was built in the 13th year of Genroku (1700) at the command of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (the fifth Tokugawa Shogunate), and the main shrine and two-story gate are government-designated important cultural assets, and the front shrine is designated as a registered cultural asset. The Homotsukan (Treasure Hall) exhibits many cultural properties, such as the “Kaiju Budokyo (bronze mirror with sea animals and vines).” This shrine, which has been revered as the steering god, is visited by about 300,000 persons during the first three days of New Year to pray for traffic safety, the well-being of family, successful business, and protection from misfortunes.

 

- Location: 1697-1, Katori, Katori city

- Access: Take a bus bound for Omigawa from Sawara Station on JR Narita Line and get off at the Katori Jingumae stop.

10. Kannonkyoji Temple (Shibayamamachi)Founded in 781, the Kannonkyoji Temple, which has been widely known for the Nioson (guardian of the temple) statue enshrined at the Nio Gate, has long been familiar with its nickname of “Shibayama Nioson.” Its principle image, the Juichimen Kannonsama is magical in its effect of protection from misfortunes, while Shibayama Niosonten is marvelously effective for protection from fire and thieves as well as from disasters. On January 1, a prayer with the lighting of a sacred fire is conducted every hour from 6:00 to 16:00, and it is conducted every day during January. (Schedule changes from weekdays to Saturdays and Sundays, so please ask.)

 

- Location: 298, Shibayama, Shibayamamachi, Sanbu-gun

- Access: 20 minutes on bus from Shibayama Railway Shibayama Chiyoda Station

11. Sogenji (Mobara city)One of the temples with the longest history in the Nichiren Sect, as a holy place where the Nichiren mantra was chanted for the first time. This temple is called “Higashiminobu” with reference to Minobusan. The gateway to the temple is very rare one of a two-storied pagoda style, based on the image of the gate of Ryugu (undersea palace). The carving at the Chinese-style gate of the main hall (made by the second-generation Ihachi) is a cultural asset designated by the city.

 

- Location: 1201, Mobara, Mobara city

- Access: 5 minutes by taxi from Mobara Station on JR Sotobo Line.

12. Daihonzan Seichoji Temple (Kamogawa city)Opened to the public in the 2nd year of Hoki (771) by a Buddhist monk called Fushigi Hoshi. Saint Nichiren entered priesthood, and subsequently chanted the mantra of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and started his teaching at this head temple. Temple lodging is fully equipped, and you can toll the watch-night bell in preferential condition by staying here on New Year’s Eve. Observation of watch-night ascetic training using cold water, the first prayer of the year, the earliest first sunrise of the year in Japan, vegetarian meals, and traditional Japanese New Year’s cuisine can be enjoyed (lodging / vegetarian dishes require reservation). For one week from 0:00 on January 1, special prayer for protection from misfortunes, etc. is conducted.

 

- Place: 322-1, Kiyosumi, Kamogawa city

- Access: Nitto Bus from Awa Amatsu Station on JR Sotobo Line, and get off at Seichoji stop.

13. Daihonzan Tanjoji Temple (Kamogawa city)This temple, which was built in memory of the place where Saint Nichiren was born, is the headquarters of the Nichiren Sect. After passing the Deva gate, you can see Soshido (a hall dedicated to the founder of the temple), which was built in the 3rd year of Koka (1846) and has the world’s largest edge-end tiles for the roof, and on the temple grounds, there is a statue of Saint Nichiren when he was small. On the approach to the gate, there are many souvenir shops, displaying liveliness. On New Year’s Eve, numbered tickets are distributed and you can toll the watch-night bell. During the first three days of New Year, amazake (sweet drink made from fermented rice) is also served.

 

- Location: 183 Kominato, Kamogawa city

- Access: 25 minutes’ walk from Awa Kominato Station on JR Sotobo Line.

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