Happy New year from Kochi. May all your dreams come true in 2022!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!

As we mentioned in December’s newsletter, there are many traditions in Japan around New Year and Hatsuhinode or the first sunrise of the year is a very auspicious occasion in Japan. Many people head to the coast or the mountains to witness the first sunrise of the year in a special place, which is said to bring happiness and prosperity for the new year. To welcome the god and receive their blessings, people seek the best spot to see the first sunrise and pray for good fortune.

Although New Zealand is the first country in the world to welcome in the New Year, Japan is located on the western side of the Pacific Ocean, so even though its sunrise is a couple of hours behind New Zealand and Australia, it’s one of the first countries in the world to welcome the New Year.

While there are wonderful sunrise and sunset spots all over Japan, Kochi is well known for what is known as the Daruma Sunset. These magnificent yet peculiar sunsets are so named because the silhouette the sun creates looks like a Japanese Daruma Doll floating in the ocean. The mirage is said to occur when the sunlight is refracted by the warm air above the ocean surface interacting with the cold air higher above. The good news is that Kochi’s Daruma sunset is not limited to January 1st but can be seen from late Autumn (November) through until early Spring (March) depending on the location and the weather. While the location does not guarantee you’ll get to experience a Daruma Sunset, the most favourable spots in Kochi to catch a glimpse of this beauty is on the Southwestern coast of Kochi around Cape Muroto.

Talk to our consultants at Japan Holidays to ensure you get to experience your own Daruma Sunset when you visit Kochi.

Photo credit: © Kochi Visitors & Convention Association