Gather for the New Year’s first prayers at Toronto Buddhist Church! Experience Hatsumōde and make some resolutions to turn 2018 into your best year yet.

For many in Japan, it’s a tradition to go Hatsumōde (初詣), which refers to the first visit to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple during the New Year’s holidays, usually within the first three days of January. They make this traditional visit to offer up their prayers for the safety and prosperity of their families in the coming year.

The biggest Hatsumōde turnout is in Tokyo at the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Approximately 3.5 million people every year show up at this shrine within the first three days of January. While this is a very important tradition to many Japanese people, it is also a difficult custom to take part in outside of Japan. Many new Japanese immigrants to Canada no longer practice it, simply for the reason that they have no place to go for their Hatsumōde. That is, until this year!

Toronto’s version of Hatsumōde is being held at Toronto Buddhist Church on Jan 1., 2018, from 11 am to 9 pm. The team behind this event is Team Samurai Resurrection (TSR), a group of Japanese business owners from across the GTA. The team was established in 2014 with the objectives to preserve, promote and share all aspects of Japanese culture with Canadians.

After visitors offer their New Year’s first prayer in the main hall, they can head down to the church’s basement where there will be Japanese food booths, sake tasting, arts and crafts, and Japanese games. On-stage will be a number of exciting presentations, including traditional festive dances and music as well as the Ramen Battle, a showdown between four famous Toronto ramen restaurants. Two special ramen bowls for this Hatsumōde event will be served all day.

People of all faiths, everyone from babies to seniors, are welcome at the event. Enjoy Japan’s most important holiday event in Toronto. Happy New Year!



Jan. 1, 2018, 11 am–9 pm


Adults $5 | Youth & children (16 and under) free


Toronto Buddhist Church (1011 Sheppard Ave. W., Toronto), 5-min. walk from TTC Sheppard West Station. Parking available.