Okinawa to welcome first sunrise of 2016 at 7:17 a.m.

A sunrise seen from Kurukuma Cafe in Nanjo City is probably the most gorgeous on the entire island thanks to the cafe’s location. (Photo courtesy of Katsuo Nakamoto)

A sunrise seen from Kurukuma Cafe in Nanjo City is probably the most gorgeous on the entire island thanks to the cafe’s location. (Photo courtesy of Katsuo Nakamoto)

Hatsumode on the New Year is a very popular custom with strong ties to Japan’s Buddhist and Shinto traditions, but since ancient times, the first sunrise of the year has had a special place in people’s hearts, and even today many go to great lengths to watch the first sun of the year rising. Many people prepare carefully to be up and out to see the sun rise for the first time in the year. And of course, some young people consider it a sin even to go home to bed before greeting the first sunrise.

There are several spots at various parts of the island, mostly on the east coast of course, that are popular for watching the sunrise, and consequently are often crowded before the dawn.

A very special spot is Cafe Kurukuma in Nanjo City, which is one of most popular spots for watching the New Year sunrise. The café is a popular tourist spot that is located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and from its back porch offers one of the most spectacular views anywhere on the island.

Katsuo Nakamoto, the owner of Café Kurukuma took the pictures of the sunrises that accompany this article. Nakamoto has a motto that says “fresh sunrise is good for health,” and that’s why he starts his day with the sunrise every morning.

Below is a list of popular spots to watch a sunrise, on the New Year or any other day, on Okinawa. So, get ready to watch the New Year sunrise at 7:17 on Jan. 1st, 2016.

Here’s a list of some popular spots to watch the first sunrise of the year:

Many have admired splendid sunsets over the ocean, but sunrises are every bit as gorgeous, and the first one of he year os a special one.

Many have admired splendid sunsets over the ocean, but sunrises are every bit as gorgeous, and the first one of he year os a special one.

Cape Hedo

Tsutsuji Eco Park

Kaichu Douro

Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

Zakimi Castle Ruins

Nishihara Marine Park

Chinen Cape Park

Peace Memorial Park