Fukubukuro grab bags

What to do on New Year’s Day

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Going to the beach, shopping and seeing the latest blockbuster movies are all popular things to do on New Year’s Day, but here are some alternative ways to enjoy the first day of 2018.


Ala Moana Center: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
International Market Place: Dec. 31, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018, 10 a.m.
Royal Hawaiian Center: 10 a.m.

Ring in 2018 with good fortune and even better deals by shopping fukubukuro mystery bags. Originating in Japanese department stores, fukubukuro bags are filled with the past season's merchandise and heavily discounted – the catch is you don't know what you're getting until you buy. At Ala Moana, you can purchase a happy grab bag filled with merchandise worth double the sales price. Participating Ala Moana Center retailers include Big Island Candies, kate spade new york, Lacoste, LeSportsac, Minamoto Kitchoan, Sephora, Tory Burch and more.

At International Market Place, fukubukuro deals start one day early on Dec. 31, 2017 and last through Jan. 1, 2018. The complete line-up of participating stores can be found on International Market Place's website.

At The Royal Hawaiian Center, 42 restaurants and stores will be participating in the festivities with more than 1,000 bags available to purchase. The event will kick off with a Japanese drum performance at 9 a.m. in The Royal Grove by Kenny Endo’s Taiko Center of the Pacific. Fukubukuro bags will be sold by participating retailers — including Dean & Deluca, Forever 21, kulu kulu bakery, P.F. Chang’s Waikiki and more — starting at 10 a.m.

Hike Makapuu

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Start 2018 on the right foot by greeting the new year with a sunrise hike. Be one of the hundreds that hike to the top of Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail on Jan. 1, to welcome the first sunrise of 2018 at 7:09 a.m. There'll be an oli blessing, taiko drummers and pu (blowing of a conch shell) to kick off the new year. Be sure to bring a flashlight and light jacket. Pro tip: arrive before the gates open at 5:30 a.m. to snag a parking spot.   

You can pay your first visit to several different shinto shrines on New Year's Day.


Daijingu Temple of Hawaii, 61 Puiwa Rd., open until 4 p.m. on Jan. 1
Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii, 215 N. Kukui St., Midnight-5 p.m. Dec. 31 (midnight)-Jan. 1 (5 p.m.)
Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu, 1239 Olomea St. More info

The annual Japanese New Year’s Day blessing at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu is open to the public. Attendees can enjoy free bowls of ozoni mochi soup from midnight to 2 a.m. and again from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on New Year's Day. Traditional omamori (amulet) charms will also be available for purchase. 

Nuuanu's Daijingu Temple of Hawaii expects 6,000 people to observe an annual Japanese tradition that starts on New Year’s Eve. On Dec. 31, attendees can line up outside the temple to receive a blessing from a Shinto priest and buy a good luck amulet to help them throughout 2018. There will be blessings at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Dec. 31, but most individuals show up between 12-3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Individual appointments are also available throughout January.

Receive a traditional Shinto blessing by a priest on New Year’s Day at Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii. All visitors can receive omiki (blessed sake) and good luck candies. New omamori and ofuda (talisman) are available for blessing and protecting homes, businesses and individuals. Can’t make it on New Year’s Day? Izumo Taishakyo will also be open on Jan. 2-3 from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 


Get a head start on those resolutions to get in shape by participating in one of the runs below. 

Bosetti 10K Run

Kealahou Street, Hawaii Kai
5:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Want to get a head start on those New Year’s resolutions? This 10K run, sponsored by the Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club, expects 100 runners and will start around Kealahou Street, near Sandy Beach.

Lanikai Woe’s Day Run/Parade

8 - 10:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Lanikai Community Association, this annual New Year’s Day celebration on the windward side includes a running event and a parade. The parade will comprise five vehicles, 10 floats and 40 marchers, while 75 runners are expected to participate in the run. The event will start at Aalapapa Drive and loop through Mokulua Drive.  

Duk guk soup is perfect for the recent cooler weather we've been having. Photo by Grace Ryu. 

Free duk guk soup

Sorabol, 805 Keeaumoku St.
Budnamujip, 871 Kapiolani Blvd.  

Duk guk is a rice cake soup that’s traditionally served during the new year celebrations. It features soft, rice cake rounds with ribbons of egg in a savory dashi broth — a comforting dish in Hawaii’s wet winter weather, and a mellow alternative after all that holiday feasting. Get it for free on the first day of 2018 at Korean eateries Sorabol and Budnamujip.