I had completed seven or eight New Year’s Day sunrises before learning the Japanese have a word for exactly that—hatsuhinode, the first sunrise of the new year.

It all started on a whim. With a new car, a new camera (to me), and growing tired of the late night New Year’s Eve celebrations, I was looking to start a tradition of my own. I didn’t sleep that night. I picked up my friend dear friend Jen, and we drove through the night, before taking a brief nap in a cold car to catch sunrise on January 1, 2013.

In fact, it’s all been a whim, from committing to YOTS I on December 31, and committing to YOTS II on January 1.

I have now watched and photographed the first sunrise of the new year for an entire decade. Without question, it is one of the most important rituals and traditions I’ve ever had.

Eleven years later and I’m still doing it in the same jacket, with the same car, with the same camera. How many more consecutive sunrises I’ll watch, I’m not sure. But I may be celebrating hatsuhinode for a very long time. Or, maybe not. This is only the first iteration (and all too quick) of the feelings of this day, and there will hopefully be more to come.


Sunrise from Lake Huron, ,

Lake Huron


Sunrise from Lake Huron, ,

Lake Huron


Sunrise from Tahquamenon Falls, ,

Tahquamenon Falls


Sunrise from Big Bay Lighthouse, ,

Big Bay Lighthouse


Sunrise from Split Rock Lighthouse, ,

Split Rock Lighthouse


Sunrise from Seul Choix Lighthouse, ,

Seul Choix Lighthouse

Year of the Sunrise begins


Sunrise from Whitefish Point, Paradise, MI

Sunrise No. 1 Whitefish Point


Sunrise from Peninsula Point Lighthouse, Rapid River, MI

Sunrise No. 366 Peninsula Point Lighthouse


Sunrise from Cave Point Park, Sturgeon Bay, WI

Sunrise No. 732 Cave Point Park


Sunrise from Lake Park, Milwaukee, WI

Sunrise No. 1,097 Lake Park


Sunrise from The Tombolo, Colvill, MN

Sunrise No. 1,462 The Tombolo



Sunrise No. 1,827 Publish this sunrise!