Have you ever seen the last sunset of the year by the beach?
If not, seeing the very last sunset of the year can be liberating and motivating in a way you will never forget. As the warm tone of the sun ray falls, you can let go of your regrets, mistakes, and once again, look back at the memories of the year. It is a great way to get ready to welcome a new year full of new opportunities and possibilities!
|Things To Do|
This is how anyone can spend their new years at Kamakura and Enoshima in Japan.
Kamakura and Enoshima are two of the well-known and liked cities in Japan, both of which have beautiful beaches and surfing spots not too far from Tokyo.
From Tokyo, it will take about a little more than an hour to get to Kamakura, where the fun begins! During the day, there are dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines with beautiful nature in Kamakura to visit. One of the most popular statues is the Great Buddha (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu) of Kotokuin Temple, which is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan.
STARBUCKS STORE IN KAMAKURA
There is also one of a kind Starbucks in Kamakura for the coffee lovers.
Around 4:30 PM, it is best to head to Yuigahama Beach on Sagami Bay. It is best to have something warm to drink during the sunset as winters in Japan can be quite chilly.
At the beach, from silently reading your favorite book by the low-lit sunset to meditating and reflecting on the previous year and journaling down your wishes and goals for the next, there are many things to do. Or taking pictures and videos, walking along the beach, and playing with your friends are other fun activities to do with more people.
SOBA NOODLE FOR DINNER
For dinner, you can go to one of the local Soba Noodle Restaurants, where you can eat buckwheat (Soba) noodles. Toshikoshi Soba, also known as New Year Soba, is a well-established tradition that’s said to bring good luck in the coming year. The long nature of the noodles represent longevity of life. Thus, you may have to wait a little while to get a seat in a restaurant.
Bid a farewell to the last sunset of the year and now onto celebrating the new year’s countdown.
In Japan, many people go to shrines and temples for the countdown of the new year and it is a great chance to experience Japanese culture and tradition during these times. “Hatsumode [初詣]” is an popular event and custom of Japan’s new year, that visit and worship shrine or temple for the first time in new year. Therefore, many visit shrines and temples on December 31st and stay there until January 1st to celebrate and visit the shrines.
With a 30 to 40-min walk from the beach, there is a Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮), which is one of the most popular “Hatsumode” destination shrine not only in Kamakura but also in Japan. The shrine is open 24 hours from Dec.31 to 21:00 of Jan.04. Entrance regulation is often enforced depending on the traffic.
Depending on your preferences, you may choose to go to a karaoke, a hotel, or just hangout with friends at cafes until the trains begin their service around 4:30 AM. Some cafes at the Kamakura station are open 24 hours on the new year’s day, but it may be a little too crowded.
SUNRISE AT ENOSHIMA
As soon as the trains start their service, it is time to head to Enoshima to welcome the first sunrise of the year. Before the sunrise, which will be around 6:10 to 6:30, you may want to grab breakfast. Convenience stores in Japan are open all night but there are also some cafes at Enoshima, which open early.
At the beach of Enoshima, there will be many people also waiting for the sunrise. The feeling of seeing the first sunrise of the year will give you a sudden burst of energy and a motivation to do your best in the upcoming year.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Happy New Year!
If you want to know more about what you can do at Enoshima, click here.