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Fukuoka Hatsuhinode (First Sunrise) Guide 2023-2024

In Japan, ‘Gantan’ is not just New Year’s Day; it’s a symbol of renewal and hope. This term, deeply rooted in the characters that signify the year’s first sunrise, carries profound cultural significance. This revered moment, believed to herald the arrival of Toshigami-sama, the deity of harvest and prosperity, is seen as an auspicious start to the year. It’s a time-honored belief that witnessing the first sunrise is a way to invite good fortune, health, and happiness for the year ahead.

Aburayama Fukuoka, ABURAYAMA FUKUOKA 展望台


Japanese tradition extends beyond mere observation. Families prepare special offerings, such as kagami-mochi (mirror-shaped rice cakes), as a token of gratitude and reverence to Toshigami-sama. Homes across Japan are adorned with traditional decorations like kadomatsu (pine arrangements) and shimekazari (sacred straw ropes), each symbolizing longevity, prosperity, and warding off evil spirits.

Hatsuhinode Spots in Fukuoka
Ohori Park (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)
Fukuoka Castle Ruins Tenshudai (Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City)
Washio Atago Shrine (Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City)
Nokonoshima Island (Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City)
Aburayama Fukuoka (Jonan-ku, Fukuoka City)
Shikanoshima Island (Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City)
Mount Mikazukiyama (Hisayama-cho, Kasuya-gun)
Mount Tenpaizan (Chikushino City)
Mount Homanzan (Dazaifu City)
Hiraodai (Kitakyushu City)

Ohori Park

The park’s open surroundings allow for unobstructed views of the first sunrise of the year, even without the need to climb a hill or an observation deck. You may also witness the beautiful sight of the morning sun rising between buildings and trees, casting reflections upon the pond.

Ohori Park, 大濠公園

• Sunrise: 7:23
• Free entry
1-2 Ohorikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Fukuoka Castle Ruins Tenshudai in Maizuru Park

At the site of Fukuoka Castle in Maizuru Park, the former castle keep has been converted into an observation deck. Climbing the stairs offers a panoramic view of the Fukuoka cityscape, providing a splendid vantage point to witness the first sunrise of the year emerging from among the buildings.

Fukuoka Castle Ruins Tenshudai in Maizuru Park, 福岡城跡 天守台

• Sunrise: 7:23
• Free entry
Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Washio Atago Shrine

Join us at the shrine for Hatsumode, the cherished first shrine visit of the year. As the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, we welcome the New Year in a truly spectacular fashion. The main shrine will be beautifully illuminated, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere.

The arrival of the New Year is marked with the rhythmic beat of taiko drums, echoing through the night and adding to the festive spirit. This moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect and set intentions for the year ahead in a setting of cultural significance and natural beauty.

From this vantage point, visitors can also enjoy stunning views of Fukuoka Tower, PayPay Dome, Nokonoshima, and Uminonakamichi.

Washio Atago Shrine, 鷲尾愛宕神社

• Sunrise: 7:23
• Open all day on January 1
• Free entry
2-7-1 Atago, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka

Nokonoshima Observation Tower

Welcome the first morning of the new year on Nokonoshima, an enchanting island just off the coast of Fukuoka. As the sun rises, witness a breathtaking spectacle where the city’s iconic landmarks, like the majestic Fukuoka Tower and the PayPay Dome, are softly lit by the early sun rays, forming mesmerizing silhouettes against the horizon. This view is a Fukuoka exclusive, capturing the essence of the city in the serene light of dawn.

For the best sunrise experience, head to the island’s central observatory or find a tranquil spot on the beach east of the ferry terminal. These vantage points offer an unobstructed view of the day’s first light as it illuminates the cityscape, creating a moment of peace and beauty that embodies the spirit of the new year.

Fukuoka Hatsuhinode Guide Nokonoshima, 福岡初日の出ガイド 能古島Photo: Oscar Boyd

• Sunrise: 7:23
• First ferry on Jan.1 2024 (from Meinohama Ferry Terminal): 7:15 (estimated arrival time: 7:25) *5:00 and 6:00 ferry service is suspended on Jan.1 and Jan. 2 (timetable)
• Free entry
1608-26 Noko, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka

Aburayama Fukuoka Observation Deck

Discover the serene beauty of Aburayama, a picturesque mountain located just a 40-minute drive from Tenjin. At an elevation of 597 meters, Aburayama offers a unique vantage point over Fukuoka. The central observation deck, situated at 347 meters above sea level, affords panoramic views of Hakata Bay and the iconic Fukuoka Tower. It’s also a perfect spot to enjoy the sparkling night views of Fukuoka city.

For an even more exhilarating experience, venture onto the 52-meter long and 2-meter wide suspension bridge, suspended 30 meters above the ground. From here, you can witness the first sunrise of the year, an awe-inspiring sight as the new day’s light breaks over the city and the surrounding landscape.

Aburayama is not just a location; it’s a breathtaking escape from the city, offering moments of tranquility and awe-inspiring views that are sure to be a highlight of your new year.

Aburayama Fukuoka, ABURAYAMA FUKUOKA 展望台


• Sunrise: 7:23
• 6:00~ (on Jan. 1)
• Free entry
• Parking fee: standard car ¥300/3 hours (over 3 hours, ¥100/1 hour)
Higashiaburayama, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka

Shikanoshima Shiomi Park

Perched atop a modest hill in the central area of Shikanoshima, Shiomi Park offers a vantage point like no other. As the highest spot on the island, it provides a 360-degree panoramic view, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking sights of Fukuoka. From this scenic overlook, you can gaze across Hakata Bay and see the cityscape of Fukuoka unfold before you, framed by the picturesque backdrop of the sea.

The park’s true spectacle is the sunrise, especially from the east coast where the morning waves reflect the sun’s rays, creating a shimmering dance of light. This captivating display of nature’s beauty at dawn is not just a visual treat but an experience that embodies the tranquil essence of Shikanoshima.

Visit Shikanoshima Shiomi Park to witness this magnificent dawn, where the day’s first light brings the island’s beauty to life in a glorious blend of sea, sun, and sky.

Fukuoka Hatsuhinode Guide Shikanoshima, 福岡初日の出ガイド 志賀島Photo from STA3816

• Sunrise: 7:23
• Free entry
968-1 Shikanoshima, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

Mount Mikazukiyama

Discover the charm of Mikazukiyama, a gentle giant standing at 272 meters. Renowned for its accessible trails, this mountain is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering paths so easy that even local kindergarteners enjoy the hike! Whether you choose a leisurely 30-minute ascent or opt for a more scenic hour-long trail, Mikazukiyama is an adventure for everyone. Be sure to select your trail in advance to tailor your journey to your preference.

Once you reach the summit, you’re rewarded with a panoramic vista unlike any other. Gaze out over the sprawling landscapes, where sights like Island City, Shikanoshima, Nokonoshima, and even the distant shores of Itoshima unfold in a breathtaking display. Each viewpoint offers a unique perspective, capturing the diverse beauty of the region.

• Sunrise: 7:22
• Free entry
Yamada, Hisayama-cho, Kasuya, Fukuoka

Mount Tenpaizan

Embrace the beauty of Tenpaizan, an inviting peak standing at a modest 257 meters. Ideal for those seeking an early start to their day, this mountain is a haven for novice hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. The ascent is a gentle journey, featuring well-maintained trails that offer a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience for all skill levels.

Upon reaching the summit, you are greeted with a viewing platform that presents a magnificent panorama. From this elevated vantage point, take in the sweeping views across Fukuoka, Dazaifu, and Chikushino cities. The landscape unfolds in a breathtaking tapestry of urban and natural beauty, offering a moment of tranquility above the bustling cities below.

Fukuoka Hatsuhinode Guide Tenpaizan, 福岡初日の出ガイド 天拝山Photo: Oscar Boyd

• Sunrise: 7:22
• Free entry
• Inside Tenpaizan Historical Park
Musashi, Chikushino City, Fukuoka

Mount Homanzan

Homanzan, one of the most popular mountains in the Fukuoka region and amongst the tallest, offers a remarkable hiking experience. Standing tall at an elevation of 829 meters, it provides a commanding view of the entire Fukuoka Prefecture. On clear days, the panoramic sight stretches from the northern shores of Fukuoka City to the southern reaches of Chikushino. The ascent to the summit is a rewarding journey, achievable in about two hours.

As you make your way to the top, the landscape unfolds in a stunning display, offering a perspective of Fukuoka that is both rare and awe-inspiring. Homanzan is not just a mountain; it’s a destination that captivates the heart of every visitor with its majestic views and serene ambiance.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual nature lover, a trek to the summit of Homanzan is an experience that embodies the beauty and spirit of Fukuoka’s natural landscape.

Fukuoka Hatsuhinode Guide Homanzan Dazaifu, 福岡初日の出ガイド 太宰府の宝満山Photo from Koda6029

• Sunrise: 7:22
• Free entry
• Car Park at base of Kamado Shrine
Kitadani, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka

Sola Land Hiraodai

Experience the grandeur of Sola Land Hiraodai, a vast karst plateau spanning an elevation of 300 to 700 meters and covering an area of 6 km north to south and 2 km east to west. This natural wonder is an ideal location to witness the first sunrise of the year, ascending from the direction of the Kunisaki Peninsula. As the morning sun rises, the karst landscape below is bathed in a beautiful orange hue, creating a breathtaking scene befitting the dawn of the new year.

The park is well-equipped for visitors to enjoy this spectacular moment. Observation decks, indoor resting areas, and restroom facilities are readily available for comfort and convenience. Additionally, shops selling warm beverages and snacks open in time for the sunrise, ensuring a cozy and enjoyable experience as you welcome the first light of the year at Sola Land Hiraodai.

Sola Land Hiraodai, ソラランド平尾台(平尾台自然の郷)


• Sunrise: 7:21
• Open on Jan.1, 2024: 6:00~8:00
• Free entry
• Paid parking: ¥300 / standard vehicles, ¥1,000 / large vehicles
1-1-1 Hiraodai, Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka

The dawn of the new year brings more than just a beautiful sunrise. It marks the time for Hatsumode, the first temple or shrine visit of the year. Our Fukuoka Now Hatsumode Guide 2024 is meticulously compiled with the latest information from local temples and shrines. While many offer Hatsumode services on New Year’s Day, the times and practices vary, making each visit a unique experience.

Join us in embracing this cherished Japanese tradition, and may your first steps into the new year be filled with peace and joy!

NOTE: Please be aware that the content in this guide has been carefully compiled and summarized by the Fukuoka Now team. We strive for accuracy and thoroughness in our information. However, despite our best efforts, there may be occasional errors, or some details might have changed since our last update.

We value your input and assistance in keeping our guide as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you come across any discrepancies or have updates to share, please do not hesitate to contact us. This guide was last updated in December 2023.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping us maintain the quality and reliability of our information.

Art & Culture
Seasonal Guide
Fukuoka City
Published: Dec 22, 2023 / Last Updated: Dec 22, 2023

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