We are welcoming the New Year from the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. We want to open our first post of the blog telling you about a very special date that takes place very year in Japan: hatsumode.

Hatsumode is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year. Its origin dates back to New Year´ Eve traditional Shinto festivities, when ujiko or people from a clan gathered in a shrine to welcome the ujigami or the clan god during New Year´s Eve.

Currently, at midnight on New Year´s Eve, people visit Shinto temples and shrines to listen to the sound of the bells, a tradition known as joya no kane, which gives way to hatsumode.

During the three first days of the year, a large number of visitors come to the local temples and to the famous temples located in Japan´s biggest cities. Among the main temples we find: Meiji Shrine (Tokyo), Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine (Kyoto), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (Kanagawa) and Atsuta Shrine (Aichi).

Generally, during hatsumode, wishes for the New Year are made, new omamori (charms or amulets) are bought while the old ones are returned to the shrine so they can be burned. People also enjoy toso, special New Year´s sake, and buy omikuji or a written fortune for the upcoming year.

Besides, it is very popular writing down your wishes for the New Year on Ema boards.

Start 2018 the best possible way in the 5 starts resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. How about welcoming the Three Wise Men at our Asian paradise in the Mediterranean? We are looking forward to seeing you!