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Yakyu Inari Hatsumode | HIGASHIMATSUYAMA
January 1 @ 09:00 - January 3 @ 16:30Free
Yakyu Inari Hatsumode – In 2020, we practiced Hatsumode at Yakyu Inari in Higashimatsuyama. It had been a few years since we had been there over the New Year and I was quite surprised by how much the crowds had increased in those years.
For an explanation about Hatsumode, and more famous places to practice Hatsumode in Saitama prefecture: Hatsumode Saitama.
We went in the afternoon of the 3rd, expecting that the rush would be over. But considering how incredibly packed it was, I would hate to see what it is like at the peak on January 1st. The queue for that first prayer was out past the torii, at least 300 meters long. And it was not a single line, it was about three or four people wide.
But there is a reason people come from far and wide to pay homage for the first time in the New Year. It is the baseball shrine (linked to more detailed English information). People who play baseball come to receive their blessings here. And it is not uncommon to spot a baseball player or two here for Hatsumode! And it is not just baseball players that come, the shrine is also known as a power spot and with its long history it is a favorite with locals too.
There are festival stalls selling food and shrine related paraphernalia for the three days of the Hatsumode festival. The baseball bat amulets and prayer votives are popular at this shrine. The shrine is beside the Shiunkaku hotel which has a great play area for kids on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Dates: January 1st to 3rd
Hours: 9 am to 4 pm
Address: 2 Chome-5 Yakyūchō, Higashimatsuyama-shi, Saitama-ken 355-0028
Access: minutes walk from Tobu Tojo Line’s Higashimatsuyama station.
Parking: from January 1st to 3rd 150 spots, from the 4th 50 car spots. There is also a coin parking lot beside the Shiunkaku hotel.
Events by their very nature are tentative. Please do check with the official sources for any last minute changes due to weather or other mitigating factors.