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Hatsuhinode — the first sunrise of the year

In Japan, hatsuhinode, the sunrise on New Year’s Day, is considered an auspicious event, and many Japanese come out before dawn and drive to the east coast and climb a hill or observation platform to catch the best view of hatsuhinode. Sunrise on Jan. 1, 2014 in Naha City is at 7:16.

Why not observe this unique tradition and experience a hatsuhinode for yourself and pray for good health and happiness in the new year?

 

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Experience a spiritual sunrise over the top of Daisekirinzan

Situated on the northern tip of the island, Daisekirinzan, a karst landscape and limestone mountain also known as Ashimui, is a popular spiritual spot with over 40 sacred prayer spots. According to Ryukyuan legend this is where the gods descended to Okinawa long ago, and it’s believed to have been the first site considered sacred by the forebears of today’s Okinawans.

The best time to witness the sun rising over Daisekirinzan on Jan. 1 2014 is 8:20. The area opens at 7:00, two hours earlier than usual, from Jan. 1-3 for people looking for a very spiritual hatsuhinode experience. In addition, a free cup of hot oshiruko (sweet red bean soup) is offered to everyone entering Daisekirinzan. There is a shuttle service that will transport you to the midpoint of the mountain. After getting off the shuttle, you will hike for about 30-60 minutes to the top while enjoying the beauty of subtropical nature.

Sunrise time: 8:20

Daisekirinzan
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 1-3, 2014: 7:00-16:00; 9:00-16:00 Jan. 4 and after
Admission: 800 yen for adults, 500 yen for children ages 4 up to junior high school students.

Umarekawari no Ishi
Umarekawari means making a fresh start in life, and it’s believed that passing through Umarekawari no Ishi three times will enable you to do just that: the first time to forget your unhappy past memories and experiences, the second time for resetting your life and the third time to start a new life.

There are various hiking courses that offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of subtropical nature: the Chura-umi observation point course with a great view of Yoron Island and Okinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture; the subtropical woods course featuring banyan trees and 60,000 cycads; and the barrier-free course.

 

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Kaichu-doro (central Okinawa, eastern coast)
Yonashiroyahira, Uruma City

Take in the incredible view of the sunrise over the emerald green ocean.
Sunrise time: 7:16

 

Cape Hedo (northern Okinawa)
Hedo, Kunigami Village

The sunrise over Okinawa’s northern cliffs is simply astonishing.
Sunrise time: 7:16


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