Region
Hokkaido
Island
Hokkaido
Largest City
Sapporo
Population
5,682,950

Hokkaido Jingu

Try the first shrine visit of the year here for an authentic Japanese New Year experience.

Home to the soul of the Meiji Emperor and Hokkaido’s protective deities, Hokkaido Jingu (or Hokkaido Shrine) serves as a spiritual meeting grounds encompassed in nature.

Located in the Maruyama neighborhood of Sapporo — known for its expansive park and the Maruyama Zoo — the most popular attraction in the area is the Hokkaido Shrine. Within the 60,000-square-meter Maruyama Park, the shrine is host to several religious festivals and picturesque cherry blossoms in spring. In January, it’s the city’s most popular hatsumode shrine where people go for the traditional first shrine visit of the year.

Both the main and park entrances to the shrine are located within a 10-minute walk from the Maruyama park station. The shrine was built inside the park in 1869 to create a spiritual ground with the surrounding forest and nature. In 1964, the Showa emperor decided that the shrine would also enshrine the soul of the Meiji Emperor. Also enshrined here are three protective deities of Hokkaido that protect both the island and its people.

Festivals and cherry blossoms

A popular choice to visit in the New Year, the shrine might be even more so in spring, when the 1,700 sakura trees dominate the shrine, area as well as the park area. Because the cherry blossoms arrive later than the rest of Japan, this is a hot spot for cherry blossom viewing usually in the beginning of May. Because of that and because of tourists from the Golden Week holiday, it can get pretty crowded.

The next popular event is the Hokkaido Shrine Festival, also known as the Sapporo Festival, which is held in mid-June (June 14-16) each year. On the last day, you can view a big parade that starts at the shrine and heads through Sapporo. This is a fun festival with thousands of participants dressed up in traditional garb from the Heian period. In addition to the parade, check out food stalls and festivities around the shrine area (and other shrines in the city), as a fun way to experience local Japanese Shinto culture.

Topics: , , , ,

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Summer season: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Winter season: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒064-0959 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Miyagaoka, 北海道神宮

By train

Take the Tozai line on the Sapporo metro and get off at Maruyama Koen station. It is a 10-minute walk from there.

Where To Stay

Miyanomori
  • Chuo-ku Miyanomori 1-15-4-1 Sapporo-Shi, Hokkaido 064-0951
  • 9.2/10
  • 0.9 km
Powered by Booking.com
North Square Garden 102
  • Chuo-ku Kita 6 Jo Nishi 26-1-14-102 Sapporo-Shi, Hokkaido 060-0006
  • 1.1 km
Powered by Booking.com
Square Garden Sapporo
  • Kita 6Jo Nishi 26Chome 1-14, Chuo-Ku, North Square Garden Nishi28Chome Ekimae 203 Sapporo-Shi, Hokkaido 060-0006
  • 1.1 km
Powered by Booking.com
Sepia Yamanote / Vacation STAY 1263
  • Nishi-ku Yamanote 1 6 - 2 - chome 2 - 15 Sepiaan Mountain Sapporo-Shi, Hokkaido 063-0001
  • 1.3 km
Powered by Booking.com