7 Best Things to Do in Hiroshima in January: Onsen, New Year’s Visit to Shrine

If you’re planning to go sightseeing, including seasonal activities unique to that time of year in your itinerary is ideal. In this issue, we introduce essential travel information for January in Hiroshima, including weather, appropriate fashion, key events, and recommended spots, catering to those interested in experiencing the uniqueness of the season.

To learn more about Hiroshima in winter, check here!


Hiroshima in January


January is one of the coldest months in Hiroshima, with temperatures ranging on average from about 3 to 10 degrees Celsius. It is especially cold in the early morning and at night, with temperatures sometimes falling below freezing. On sunny days, you can enjoy the mild winter weather, but winter season is bitterly cold, so you need to take warm clothing. It is also advisable to take measures to protect your skin and throat from dryness, as heating often makes the inside of the rooms dry.


In January, many traditional events are held in Hiroshima to celebrate the New Year. These include Hatsumode (New Year’s visits to shrines) and events held on New Year’s Day to view the first sunrise of the year. In January, many places in Japan hold coming-of-age ceremonies to celebrate newcomers to the adult, and young people can be seen dressed in gorgeous suits and furisode (long-sleeved kimono).


December and January are the New Year vacations, and many people spend time with family and relatives in their hometowns, especially at the beginning of the year, so transportation and some tourist attractions and facilities will be quite crowded. Shrines and temples will be especially crowded since many people go for Hatsumode (New Year’s visit to shrines and temples). You should also pay attention to the New Year’s holidays for stores. However, winter in Hiroshima is said to be the off-season for sightseeing, and compared to other seasons and cities, there are fewer tourists, so you can enjoy sightseeing in a relatively relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy the unique winter atmosphere.

January Fashion

In Hiroshima in January, cold-weather clothing is essential to withstand the winter chill. It is important to wear down jackets, wool coats, scarves, gloves, and knit hats to maintain body heat. It is also advisable to choose non-slip shoes due to the possibility of snow.

3 Recommended Hot Spring Resorts

Soak in a hot spring to warm up in the cold winter! Here are three recommended hot spring resorts in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Miyahama Onsen (宮浜温泉)

Miyajima is a popular sightseeing area in Hiroshima. Miyahama Onsen is located on a small hill on the opposite shore and is the closest hot spring resort to Miyajima. From the hot spring resort, visitors can enjoy walking around Imose Falls and Mt. Kyogoya, and enjoy locally caught seafood. The tasteless and odorless water is rich in radon, which is said to be effective for neuralgia. It is a place to visit in the cold winter to warm up.

Tomonoura Onsen (鞆の浦温泉)

Tomonoura Onsen Hotel Ofutei (鞆の浦温泉 ホテル鴎風亭)

This hot spring resort is located in Tomonoura, a scenic spot on the Seto Inland Sea. It boasts one of the highest concentrations of radium in Japan, warming the body from the core. From the bathtubs and rooms of the hot spring facilities, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Seto Inland Sea. A stroll through the port town atmosphere is also recommended.

Yuki Onsen (湯来温泉)

The history of Yuki Onsen is said to have begun about 1,500 years ago when an egret was discovered soaking in the hot water and healing its wounds. It is recommended for those who want to take their time and enjoy one of the world’s best radium-containing hot springs in a rich natural setting. It is about an hour’s drive from central Hiroshima City.

2 Spectacular View Spots

In Japan, the first sunrise of the New Year has been considered auspicious since ancient times, and worshipping the sunrise on New Year’s Day is meant to wish people a happy new year. Many people in Japan wake up early and go to various viewing spots to see the first sunrise of the new year. Not only for the first sunrise, the spots introduced here are usually popular and spectacular, so please take a look at them for your reference!

Takamiyama Observation Deck (高見山展望台)

Takamiyama is a mountain located on Mukaishima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. The observatory at the top of the mountain offers a panoramic view of the Innoshima Bridge and the islands of the Seto region in the Seto Inland Sea. Especially on New Year’s Day, the observatory is secretly popular as a famous spot in Hiroshima where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea and the first sunrise of the year. Since it is inevitably crowded, it is recommended to watch the sunrise while visiting Onomichi.

Mount Misen (弥山)

Misen, located on Miyajima, is a 535-meter-high sacred mountain and is famous as a power spot. On New Year’s Day, ferries run special nighttime services, and the Miyajima Ropeway begins operating at 5:00 am. As this is a popular spot that attracts many visitors every year, we recommend that you allow plenty of time for your visit.
*Ferry operations and ropeway hours are subject to change due to weather and other factors. Please be sure to check the website before visiting.

2 Shrine Spots

In Japan, there is a traditional custom called Hatsumode. Hatsumode is an event in which people go to a temple or shrine for the first time after the new year to express their gratitude for the past year and to make a wish for a good new year. Hatsumode is one of the most important events in Japan, with many people going to Hatsumode by the middle of January at the latest. Especially on January 1, when the New Year has just begun, many people go to local shrines to pray. Please be aware of the crowds on New Year’s Day. When you visit shrines and temples, please try to do omikuji (fortune-telling). It will give you an idea of your fortune for the year ahead.

Kusado Inari Shrine (草戸稲荷神社)

Kusado Inari Shrine is located in Fukuyama City. It is a major spot that attracts about 400,000 worshippers during the Hatsumode season. From the main shrine, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Fukuyama City. The shrine is said to bring blessings for good fortune, money, and work, making it a perfect place for Hatsumode to welcome the new year. Please take note of the shrine’s architecture.

Sumiyoshi Shrine (住吉神社)

It is a fairly small urban shrine compared to Kusado Inari Shrine. It is located in Hiroshima City. The Omamori (Japanese amulets) are cute, and it is the only place in Hiroshima Prefecture where you can buy a blue amulet for the Soccer World Cup.

Editor’s Comment


Please refer to this page and enjoy your trip to Hiroshima in January!

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