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[3 Day Event: Jan. 1–3] Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine near Hiroshima Castle for a Unique New Year Experience!

[3 Day Event: Jan. 1–3] Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine near Hiroshima Castle for a Unique New Year Experience!

If you are in Hiroshima during the first three days of the New Year, you should visit the Gokoku Shrine next to Hiroshima Castle! You can experience a part of Japanese culture that is not usually seen.

The New Year’s holiday hosts the most cherished event for the people of Hiroshima, just like in other parts of Japan. Even those who are usually live away from Hiroshima due to work or studies return to be with their families to celebrate the New Year. Especially during the first three days, people join in Hatsumode [visiting a shrine with family to pray for health and happiness in the new year].
Gokoku Shrine is a special place that many Hiroshima people visit for their Hatsumode.

When I was a child, I was taken by my parents to Gokoku Shrine on New Year’s Day, and then we ate traditional New Year’s osechi cuisine at my grandparents’ house. Many decades have passed since then, but yesterday, my husband, son, and I went to Gokoku Shrine for Hatsumode after watching the first sunrise!

We experienced a different atmosphere, with numerous stalls lined up.

After the visit, we drank a sacred sake, bought the taiyaki shown above, and my son got a chocolate-covered banana too!

The surroundings feel like a festival, and there is a unique sacred atmosphere that is perhaps distinctive to the Japanese New Year. The food offered at the stalls is not something you would typically find in convenience stores or supermarkets.

The shrine is located within the grounds of Hiroshima Castle, and nearby you’ll find the Hiroshima Museum of Art. It is also within walking distance from the Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome! Please be sure to visit!

Location: Gokoku Shrine, Hiroshima



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