Hatsumode- New Year in Tokyo

Japanese prepare for the New Year by spring cleaning their houses and on New Year’s Eve, known in Japanese as o-misoka, families meet to eat toshi-koshi soba (a noodle dish). On New Year’s Eve, the watch-night bell is struck 108 times in temples all over the country. According to the Buddhist theory, humans have 108 worldly desires and so the bell is struck for each desire.

Hatsumode is held on the first of January. On this day, families go to temples and sanctuaries in Tokyo to make their first shrine visit of the year. During the first few days of the year the Imperial Palace holds open doors days and thousands of locals attend the emperor and empress’ public appearance.

New Year Calendar

New Year’s Day 2015 Thursday
New Year’s Day 2016 Friday
New Year’s Day 2017 Sunday
New Year’s Day 2018 Monday

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