From the stroke of midnight that brings in the New Year, and well into the first week of January, the Japanese go to pray at a temple of their choosing.
But it’s by no means just praying, as there are numerous stalls selling food and souvenirs, plus omikuji (fortune readings) are eagerly snapped up. You’ll also find the atmosphere to be relaxed and celebratory rather than pious.
But as you can see from the picture below, most of all it’s a time for peace and tranquility. A moment to be spent alone with your thoughts.