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New Years in Tokyo 2013, Shibuya Station

January 1, 2013

New Years in Japan is slightly different vs being in America. The Japanese use this time as a time for reflection prayer in temples rather than partying in the street. The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year’s Day postcards (年賀状 nengajō?) to their friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of sending Christmas cards.

At midnight on December 31, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells a total of 108 times (除夜の鐘 joyanokane) to symbolize the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief, and to get rid of the 108 worldly desires regarding sense and feeling in every Japanese citizen. A major attraction is The Watched Night bell, in Tokyo. Japanese believe that the ringing of bells can rid off their sins during the previous year. After they are done ringing the bells, they celebrate and feast on soba noodles

That being said since I already visited the Sensoji Temple earlier in my trip I figured I would try to find a area where people were going crazy in the streets. This video is a short clip of the Shibuya station after the count down.

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