New Year’s is undeniably one of the most important events celebrated in Japan. I imagined this meant a night out laughing, dancing, and socializing with friends and family while waiting for the countdown to midnight and firework spectacular.Unlike any other country the new year in Japan is silent,
New Year’s in Japan is a lot more like a Western Christmas: family affairs with plenty of focus on togetherness, trips to a temple or shrine, seeing the first sunrise of the New Year and eating lots of home-cooked foods.
The sounds of joya-no-kane, the traditional ringing of temple bells 108 times on New Year’s Eve, will soon fill the air as Japan gets set for one of its biggest holidays.For those who haven’t been here long, New Year’s Eve in Japan is a less boisterous affair than it tends to be in other parts of the world. It consists of big dinners on Dec. 31, the family gathering around the television to watch end-of-year programs such as NHK’s “Kohaku Uta Gassen,” and on the night itself or in the days following there will be a trip to a temple or shrine. That visit is known as hatsumode (first temple or shrine visit of the year).
Common knowledge dictates that hatsumode be done in the first three days of January. Timing is important, though, some places of worship can get quite busy.
Here`s one of my experience of the New Year Count Down at Asakusa Shrine