10 Recommended Spots in Japan to See The First Sunrise of the Year | FAST JAPAN
Hahajima in Ogasawara Island Chain

10 Recommended Spots in Japan to See The First Sunrise of the Year

In Japan, seeing the first sunrise every year is a big event. This custom started in the Meiji period (1868-1912), and the origin was the New Year’s ceremony by the Emperor.

#1. Mt. Moiwa Lookout – Hokkaido

 Mt. Moiwa Lookout
Photo Credit: TOYZZ EXTREME@Flickr

If you want to watch the pure beauty of the sun rising in Hokkaido, Mt. Moiwa in Sapporo, as known as one of the three best places for night scenes would be the best place. You can see not only the whole city of Sapporo, but also the hills of Yubari and the Ishikari Coast. When the sun comes up from over the hill, the sunrise turns the sky purple little by little, and it looks like a beautiful and magnificent picture. There is no wonder why more than 1,000 people come to the mountain on New Year’s eve to watch the sunrise. The city runs all public transportation and ropeways for people who want to watch this sun rise every year.
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Mount Moiwa Lookout, Hokkaido

Address: 1 Mt Moiwa, Minami Ward, Sapporo City, Hokkaido

Access: 15 minutes by shuttle bus from Ropeway Iriguchi Station

Hours (Ropeway):
12/31  11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
1/1  5:00 AM – 5:00 PM

First Sunrise Time: 7:06 AM

1,700 yen (Adult)
850 yen (Child)

Phone: 011-561-8177

Website: Mount Moiwa Ropeway (Japanese)


#2. Bihoro Mountain Path – Hokkaido

Bihoro Mountain Path
Photo Credit: Sendai Blog@Flickr

Bihoro Mountain Path is a wonderful place to watch the first sunrise for sure. This mountain path has two faces during the sunrise. That means there are two types of scenes to see, the sunrise and the surroundings. If the weather is good, you can see the sunrise and Lake Kussyaro, the largest caldera lake in Japan. The lake turns red because of the sunrise and it looks very beautiful. If you get lucky, you might see the sunrise with the cloud sea. Seeing the first sun rise and the cloud see together doesn’t happen often.
[map lat=”43.646647″ lng=”144.250464″][/map]

Bihoro Mountain Path

Address: Bihoro Mountain Path, Furuume, Bihorocho, Abashirigun, Hokkaido

Access: 30 minutes by car from Bihoro Station

First Sunrise Time: 6:56 AM

Phone: 0152-73-1111

Website: Bihoro Town (Japanese)


#3. Mt. Takao – Tokyo

Mt. Takao
Photo Credit: Yuriko IKEDA@Flickr

Mt. Takao was introduced as a three-star travel spot in 2007. You can see the wonderful panorama of Tokyo and also Mt. Fuji if the weather is good on that day. Moreover, it’s also easy to access because it’s located near the station. However, Mt. Takao is very popular place throughout the year so it might be even more packed on New Year’s eve.
[map lat=”35.625206″ lng=”139.243660″][/map]

Mt. Takao

Address: Mt. Takao, Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo

Access: Walking distance from Takaosanguchi Station

8:00 AM – (Kiyotaki Station – Takaosan Station)
9:00 AM – (Sanrei Station – Sanjo Station)

First Sunrise Time: 6:47 AM

Fee: 470 yen (one way for cable car)

Phone: 042-664-7872

Website: Mt. Takao (Japanese)


#4. Sunshine 60 Lookout – Tokyo

Sunshine 60 Lookout
Photo Credit: Ryo Fujita@Flickr

Sunshine 60 has a lookout point and you can see a part of Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, and even Tsukuba from 251 meters high. They will hold an event to watch the first sunrise on the New Year’s Day in 2017. They have only 150 tickets for this event; however, it’s not too expensive and you can watch the sunrise with no stresses since there will be too many people.
[map lat=”35.729385″ lng=”139.718192″][/map]

Sunshine 60 Lookout

Address: 60F Sunshine City, 3-3-1 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toyoshima Ward, Tokyo

Access: 11 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station

Hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM

First Sunrise Time: 6:48 AM

Ticket: 2,000 yen (150 people only)

Phone: 03-3989-3457

Website: Sky Circus Sunshine City


#5. Hahajima in Ogasawara Island Chain – Tokyo

Hahajima in Ogasawara Island Chain

Hahajima is known as a place where people can literally watch “the first” sunrise in Japan. For that reason, there are some events relating to the first sunrise like climbing Kofuji at the southern part of the island to watch from the top of the mountain. You need to take a boat ride to get to this island, but the view of sun rising will be worth the time.
[map lat=”26.619530″ lng=”142.179386″][/map]

Hahajima in Ogasawara Island Chain

Address: Hahajima, Ogasawara Town, Tokyo

25 hours and 30 minutes taking a boat “Ogasawara-maru” from Takeshiba Pier (to Chichijima)
2 hours and 10 minutes taking another boat “Hahajima-maru” from Chichijima

First Sunrise Time: 6:18 AM

22,170 yen – (Ogasawara-maru, One way)
4,050 yen – (Hahajima-maru, One way)

Phone: 03-3451-5171

Website: OgasawaraKaiun Co., Ltd.


#6. Miura Coast – Kanagawa


This is one of the biggest coasts in the Kanto region. The sunrise at Boso Peninsula is grandeur, and people from around Japan come to watch it. In addition, you can get free soup called “Jinya-jiru” made with local seafood and vegetables from Miura city. Enjoy some events such as musical performances with Japanese drums and there is a drawing to win a special present on the coast from 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM on that day.
[map lat=”35.186811″ lng=”139.656706″][/map]

Miura Coast

Address: 1450-4 Kamimiyata, Minami-Shimouramachi, Miura City, Kanagwa Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Miura Kaigan Station

First Sunrise Time: 6:50 AM

Phone: 046-888-0588

Website: Miura City Tourist Association (Japanese)


#7. Komagatake – Nagano

Photo Credit: Daisuke tashiro@Flickr

You can watch the beautiful Sagami Bay turn red from the sunshine from the top of Komagatake, and you can also see Mt. Fuji and the Tokyo Skytree if the weather is good. There is a 1,800 meter ropeway from the base to the top of mountain; therefore, you can easily reach to the top. The ropeway doesn’t usually run early in the morning, but they have a special schedule starting at 5:30 AM on New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day to let people watch the first sunrise.
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Address: Agematsu, Kiso District, Nagano Prefecture

Access: 8 minutes by ropeway from Shinobidaira Station

First Sunrise Time: 6:46 AM

Phone: 0265-83-3107

Website: Central Alps Komagatake Ropeway


#8. Lake Yamanaka – Yamanashi

Lake Yamanaka

You can see “Diamond Fuji” if you wait for the sunrise by Lake Yamanaka. “Diamond Fuji” is when the top of the Mt. Fuji overlaps with the sun, and many people go to the lake to watch it throughout the year. However, if you get lucky you can see this rare scene. If there is no wind and clouds and the lake has no ripples, it looks like a mirror. Then “Diamond Fuji” will be reflected on the lake, and it’s called “Double Diamond Fuji.” There are some hotels you can stay at around the lake, so it is recommend to get reservations as soon as possible if you are interested in seeing “Diamond Fuji.”
[map lat=”35.417018″ lng=”138.874874″][/map]

Lake Yamanaka

Address: Yamanakako Village, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture

Access: 25 minutes by local bus from Fujisan Station

First Sunrise Time: 6:47 AM

Phone: 0555-62-3100

Website: Yamanakako Tourist Association (Japanese)


#9. Yoshiminedera Temple – Kyoto

Yoshiminedera Temple
Photo Credit: Tetsuji Sakakibara@Flickr

You can see the sunrise come up from the peaks of Higashiyama. This gorgeous view of the huge peaks and the sunrise was actually used in a Hollywood movie “SAYURI” in 2005. You can also enjoy the traditional Japanese city of Kyoto after visiting the temple to watch the first sunrise; therefore, visit Kyoto if you want to experience an awesome Japanese New Year.
[map lat=”34.938120″ lng=”135.644465″][/map]

Yoshiminedera Temple

Address:1372 Oharano Oshiocho, Kyoto, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: 8 minute walk from Yoshiminedera Bus Stop

First Sunrise Time: 7:02 AM

500 yen (Adult)
300 yen (High school student)
200 yen (Elementary and junior high school student)

Website: Yoshiminedera Temple (Japanese)


#10. Mt. Misen – Horoshima

弥山 ご来光

Mt Misen is a mountain located in the center of Miyazima, Hiroshima. You can go to the top by ropeway, and there is a 360-degree panorama and great view of Seto Inland Sea. Miyazima is called an island where gods belongs. There is the Itsukushima Shrine and many events for New Years, so you can enjoy a different kind of way to celebrate the New Year if you visit the island.
[map lat=”34.279545″ lng=”132.319655″][/map]

Mount Misen

Address: Mount Misen, Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture

Access: 30 minute walk from Shishiiwa Station

First Sunrise Time: 7:13 AM

Website: Miyajima Rope Way


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