New Year at Kanasana Shrine

First prayers and rituals at Kanasana Shrine, Saitama

Jan 1st
Jan 3rd
Venue: Kanasana Shrine When: Jan 1st - Jan 3rd 2022, 8:00am - 5:00pm
While this event is confirmed, coronavirus (COVID-19) measures may result in sudden cancellation, postponement or changes to the event format (eg online only). While we do our best to keep our listings updated, please check the official event website for the latest info.

Kanasana Shrine is a 1900 year old shrine in Saitama. It is a unique shrine in that it venerates the mountain rather than a religious artifact like most other shrines. The shrine is located in the mountain town of Kamikawa in Saitama Prefecture, but on the border of Gunma Prefecture. Within Saitama, it is one of the most famous places for 'hatsumode'.

The shrine is quiet for most of the year, but at New Year, it attracts thousands of visitors. People come to the shrine for "hatsumode", the first worship of the year. The event is held annually between January 1st and 3rd. It is particularly busy on the 3rd, because the nearby Daiko Fushoji Temple holds a Daruma market. The shrine normally opens from 9 am to 4 pm, but for the New Year period, the extended hours are from 8 am to 5 pm.

Getting there

By car: The shrine is about a 25 minute drive from the Honjo Kodama Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway on national route 462.

By public transport: A bus goes from Honjo Station on the Takasaki Line. Take the Asahi bus bound for Kamiizumi Sogo Shisho-Mae and alight at the Shinjuku bus stop. The shrine is about a fifteen minute walk from the bus stop.

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Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog for 14 of them.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.  Be sure to stop by my website where you will find 600 things to do in Saitama and 400 active events! 

Join the discussion

Elena Lisina a month ago
It must be crowded by the New Year!
Lynda Hogan Author a month ago
I would love to go next New Year, but because of the expected crowds we'll wait until there's a corona vaccine!!