New Year’s in Tokyo: 3 shrines and 3 restaurants to visit for Hatsumode

Last year was not the time for big New Year parties and festive gatherings. In Japan, the situation has gotten a little better, at least for now, and you might want to experience “hatsumode“, which is the custom of visiting a shrine to give the first prayer of the New Year). In this article, we introduce three shrines in Tokyo together with three restaurants for you to stop by and get warmed up!


Kanda Myojin

Kanda Myojin is a shrine with a history of about 1,300 years. While keeping established traditions, the shrine also does collaborations with anime and games. Therefore, the shrine has amulets, votive tablets, and other shrine goods with anime designs! Also, “omamori amulet vending machines” and “Fortune paper omikuji vending machines” are installed in the precincts. Moreover, the shrine regularly holds unique exhibitions and events, successfully combining tradition and innovation.

At Kanda Myojin, you’ll find a lot of ema (votive tablets) that people wrote prayers and wishes for their favorite idols on. Some have awesome manga-style illustrations on them!
Omamori vending machine. Besides traditional amulets, they also have kawaii character options and fortune papers!
About hatsumode at Kanda Myojin

Kanda Myojin is open 24 hours a day, so it’s easy to avoid crowds by visiting the shrine at night or early in the morning. Also, many people are expected to make a trip to the shrine between January 1st and 5th. To avoid congestion, you might want to go after that, between January 8th and February 1st of the Lunar New Year.
You can always check the congestion by visiting the shrine’s live camera on their website.
Live camera:


Let’s warm up with the traditional sweets and hot amazake! “Amanoya”

(0-minute walk from Kanda Shrine)

Opened in 1846, Amanoya is a long-established cafe that offers authentic amazake (= sweet, low-alcohol Japanese drink made from fermented rice) that uses only rice and kōji (= malted rice). No sugar is added!

“Amanoya” next to the large torii gate of Myojin Kanda

Attached to their small shop selling amazake and natto, there is a small inviting cafe. It’s the perfect place to warm up while tasting hot amazake. Such a gentle, natural sweetness!

Amazake set with pickled radish. You can still see some rice grains inside the amazake.
Adzuki‐bean soup with mochi rice cake is also a fantastic traditional winter dessert. This will warm you up for sure!

The miscellaneous retro items displayed inside the cafe belong to the collection of the shop owner’s father.


Kanda Myojin
2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Ochanomizu Station, Shin-Ochanomizu Station, Suehirocho Station, Akihabara Station

2-18-15 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Ochanomizu Station, Shin-Ochanomizu Station, Suehirocho Station, Akihabara Station
* Please check the website for the year-end and New Year holidays.


Tokyo Daijingu (Tokyo Grand Shrine)

Tokyo Daijingu

Tokyo Daijingu in Iidabashi is also called “O-Ise-sama in Tokyo”. During the Edo period (1603-1868), it was everyone’s dream to go on a pilgrimage to the Grand Shrine of Ise (Ise Jingu Shrine) at least once in their lifetime. But traveling wasn’t as easy then, so this big dream stayed unfulfilled for most. That’s why later, a new (Ise-branched) shrine was built in Tokyo, making it possible to worship the deities from afar without having to travel to Ise. That is Tokyo Daijingu.

Wishing for good relations or love.

Tokyo Daijingu is especially popular with young women because it is said to be beneficial for marriage and love fulfillment.

About the first visit of the year to Tokyo Daijingu

At Tokyo Daijingu visitors are asked to plan their visit sometime in the period between December and February as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is to prevent crowds during the first three days of January. In addition to wearing a face mask and using hand sanitizer, please refrain from talking as much as possible in the precincts.

Hatsumode information:


Udon noodles and shaved ice – all at the same place! “Mamechawan”

(5-minute walk from Tokyo Daijingu)

Their original “sesame udon” has a very aromatic soup with sesame seeds in it – so creamy and delicious!

After warming up with warm Sanuki udon, it’s time for cold shaved ice! Their shaved ice menu changes with the seasons featuring shaved ice with delicious fruits, cream cheese, and fresh cream. The fluffy and creamy texture is gorgeous!

Strawberry chocolate kakigori – using pink ruby ​​chocolate.


Tokyo Daijingu
2-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest station: Iidabashi Station

2-7-2 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest station: Iidabashi Station
* Please check the website for the year-end and New Year holidays.


Hie-jinja Shrine

Hie-jinja Shrine, which has a history of about 500 years, is said to have benefits for people trying to find love, wishing for a safe delivery, and raising your children healthy. That is also the reason, why this shrine is very popular for holding traditional Shinto weddings.

Hie Jinja: Power spot and instagrammable highlights

The monkey statues you can literally find EVERYWHERE are one of the shrine’s key characteristics. In particular, the lovely monkey statue of a mother monkey and her baby to the left of the main hall is said to bring good luck to pregnant women or women who want to have children.

Mother monkey with her child
Amulets and Ema (wooden wish plates) with monkey designs
The amulets and votive tablets have cute monkey designs!

Don’t miss the “senbon torii” which is a hidden spot perfect for beautiful pictures.

Also, there are some hidden spots in the precincts you should definitely visit. The senbon torii of Sanno Inari Shrine, which is located within the grounds of the Hie-jinja Shrine, is a must-see! Senbon torii means “one thousand (or “many”) shrine gates”.
About the first visit of the year to Hie-jinja Shrine

Hie Shrine does its best to prepare everything so that it won’t get too crowded. But if possible, avoid visiting the shrine in the period between January 1st and 3rd, and also Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in January, when most people are expected to visit the shrine.
Please note, that the annual Hamaya-Kagura dance (during which decorative arrows – hamaya – supposed to ward off evil, are handed over to visitors by the dancers) is canceled in 2022, too.


Fluffy buns and juicy patties! “THE BURGER SHOP”

(13 minutes walk from Hie Shrine)
This restaurant is famous for the trivia, that former US President Trump was served a hamburger from this restaurant when he came to Japan.

Chili beans and sour cream burger
All-you-can-drink homemade vegetable juice on weekdays

The balance between the patty and the ingredients is exquisite. When you bite into the gravy-soaked bun, the flavorful “umami” ingredients spread in your mouth creating an explosion of wonderfulness.

The hamburgers are served open style. Just put as many vegetables, pickles, and mayonnaise on the buns to create your burger. Then, put everything in a hamburger bag. Enjoy your meal!


Hie-jinja Shrine
2-10-5 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Akasaka Station, Tameike-sanno Station, Kokkaigijido-mae Station, Akasaka-mitsuke Station, Nagatacho Station
Click here for New Year’s prayers and opening / closing times:

3-28 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo ADMIRAL Kioicho 1F
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Kojimachi station, Nagatacho station
* Please check their website for the year-end and New Year holidays.