Happy New Year! The new year starts with hatsumode events at shrines and temples across Japan. There is usually plenty of snow during the month for winter festivities and illumination events. January finishes with tsurushibina hanging doll crafts and strawberry picking. Check Fukushima Guide on Facebook for further details!
January Public Holidays
New Year’s Holidays (January 1~3)
Coming of Age Day (2nd Monday of January)
Hatsumode is the first visit to a local shrine for the new year. It is common to visit at midnight on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day. Join in a local custom and experience the real Japan. There will be a special bamboo lantern display at Ioji Temple on New Year’s Eve, or you can join the festivities at Fukushima Inari Shrine in central Fukushima City.
There are a range of illumination events starting in December and continuing into January.
Hikari no Shizuku (Drops of Light)
@ Paseo Street
December 6 (2019) ~ January 31 (2020)
The Hikari no Shizuku illumination display is located a short walk from Fukushima Station along the romantic Paseo Street. Take a stroll, enjoy the lights, and try the warm cosy atmosphere of one of the many restaurants.
Corasse Fukushima Illumination
@ Corasse Fukushima
December 6 (2019) ~ January 15 (2020)
Check out the winter lights while you pick up some souvenirs, or see the amazing view of the city from the 12th floor.
Hikari no Tree Pageant (Tree of Light)
@ Azuma Sports Park
December 13 (2019) ~ January 13 (2020)
A short walk from Fukushima City Minka-en and Azuma Baseball Stadium!
Shiki no Sato Illumination
@ Shiki no Sato
January 11 ~ February 11 (2020)
This display doesn’t start until the heavy snow starts to fall in January. There is live music on Saturday nights, or try some yakiniku at the Asahi Beer Hall located inside the grounds of Shiki no Sato.
@ Nishine Shrine
January 10 ~ 13 (2020)
The Nishine Shrine ‘Dondosai’ and the Takahata Tenmangu ‘Usokae Matsuri’ will be held from January 10 ~ 13, 2020.
The ‘Dondosai’ at Nishine Shrine is a traditional ceremony where old prayer tokens are burnt as an offering to the gods early in the new year. The ‘Usokae Matsuri’ at Takahata Tenmangu (situated within the grounds of Nishine Shrine) features wooden ‘Usodori (bullfinch)’ talismans. ‘Usodori’ is a play on words because ‘uso’ in Japanese means both ‘bullfinch’ and ‘lie’. It is said that if you have an ‘usodori’ talisman all the bad things that happen throughout the year will change into good luck and fortune.
Note: This is an extremely popular event and the streets around Nishine Shrine are full of traffic during the event. We recommend using the Iizaka Line and walking 10 minutes from Iizaka Onsen Station.
Tsurushibina Doll Festival
Late January ~ February
The Kyu Sakuma-tei Tsurushibina Exhibition is held at the Former Sakuma Residence west of the city. There is another exhibition at Kyu Horikiri-tei in Iizaka Onsen and the Iino Tsurushibina Matsuri is held in late February ~ early March.
Monthly Event Guides
Click one of the links below for more monthly events in Fukushima City: