Information about the New Year in Sapporo, including hatsumode and hatsuhinode in 2020
*Updated December 23, 2019
In Sapporo, the sun will rise at 7:06 a.m. on January 1. This page introduces facilities that are open early so you can take part in hatsumode (first shrine visit) and view the hatsuhinode (first sunrise). It’s cold outside, so make sure to protect yourself against the cold weather before leaving home. Travelers should also note that most bank ATMs and public facilities are closed during the year-end and New Year holidays.
Pray for health and peace by performing hatsumode at Hokkaido Shrine
Approximately 800,000 people visit Hokkaido Shrine over the three-day New Year holiday to perform hatsumode and pray for health and peace for the whole year. Ceramic bells depicting the animal of the year in the Chinese zodiac are especially popular; a limited quantity of these lucky charms is sold starting on January 1. Also popular is the umeshu (Japanese plum liquor) made from the plum trees on the temple grounds, as well as sakurayu tea, a hot drink made with cherry blossom buds. Omikuji, a type of divination in which visitors receive fortunes written on strips of paper, is available in Japanese, English, and Chinese.
Hours over the New Year holiday (scheduled hours)
January 1: 0:00–19:00
January 2: 6:00–18:00
January 3: 6:00–16:00
January 4–7: 6:00–16:00
From January 8: 7:00–16:00
Useful Information for Foreign Tourists in Sapporo: Visiting a Shrine
View the hatsuhinode rising over Sapporo from an observation deck on the 38th floor
Observation Deck T38 on the 38th floor of JR Tower, which is directly connected to Sapporo Station on the subway and JR lines, is open from the special time of 6:00 in the morning to allow visitors to view the hatsuhinode from the 38th floor at 160 meters above ground.
JR Tower Observation Deck T38 Hours
January 1: 6:00–10:00 (last entry at 9:30)
* Regular hours resume on January 2
1,000 people visit Mt. Moiwa, a popular spot for viewing the hatsuhinode
Approximately 1,000 people visit the observation platform at Mt. Moiwa located at an altitude of 531 meters each year to view the hatsuhinode. The ropeway and Morris Car (mini cable car) to the summit will be opened from the special time of 5:00 in the morning on January 1. There, you can enjoy gazing down at the streets of Sapporo covered in pure white snow!
Ropeway and Morris Car (mini cable car) operation times
January 1: 5:00–13:00 (last ascent at 12:30)
* Regular winter season hours resume on January 2
* The ropeway may be closed in the case of bad weather. Please visit the official website for more information.
View the hatsuhinode at a ski resort and enjoy your hatsusuberi that morning
Sapporo Teine is a ski resort at Mt. Teine. There, the lifts will be operated from the special time of 6:00 in the morning on January 1 to allow visitors to view the hatsuhinode from the peak of the mountain and then enjoy their hatsusuberi (first ski). Mochi-maki, an event in which sweet rice cakes are tossed for good luck, will take place on the summit right after the hatsuhinode.
Hatsusuberi on January 1
Lift operating hours: 6:30–12:00
Special lift ticket: one-time ticket 1,800 yen; morning pass (6:30–12:00) 3,500 yen
Transportation on December 31 and January 1
Many people will be out and about from New Year’s Eve (December 31) to New Year’s Day (January 1) to perform hatsumode or to view the hatsuhinode. Public transportation facilities will be operated according to special hours for this reason.
December 29 and 30, January 1, 2 and 3
First train: 6:00 Last train: 0:00
First train: 6:00 Last train: 0:00
December 29 – January 3
First streetcar: 6:25 (departs from Nishi yonchome), 6:35 (departs from Nishi yonchome)
Last streetcar: 23:17 (departs from Nishi yonchome), 23:25 (departs from Nishi yonchome)
Sightseeing information ／ Currency and currency exchange ／ Sapporo Info– an official smartphone application developed by the City of Sapporo!