Ceremonial New Year's hike on Mt Takao

  • Things to do
View from Mt Takao summit
Photo: Naoto Shinkai/Dreamstime

Time Out says

One of Japan’s prized New Year’s traditions is waking up at dawn on New Year’s Day to ‘greet the new light’. It even has its own word in Japanese: geikosai, literally meaning ‘festival to welcome the light’. There’s probably no better place to do this in Tokyo than at the summit of Mt Takao, just 50 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station.

Starting at midnight, the head priest of Yakuoin temple will perform several goma fire rituals, culminating in a great screech of conches as the sunrise ignites the mountain summit at around 6.50am.


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