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Zojoji Temple, Tokyo ; "Joya no Kane"-In Japan, we ring the bell in the temple in the evening of New Year's Eve. We call it "Joya no Kane". According to Buddhist beliefs, 108 is the number of passions and desires entrapping us in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation. So, the 108 bell chimes symbolize the purification from the 108 delusions and sufferings accumulated in the past year.

Japanese chopsticks for the New year, Iwai-bashi 祝い箸

Hatsumode - New Year's Celebration - Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto. Jan 1, 2013

Japanese new year's games.....I still have these and use them with my students when we do a unit on Japan. These toys never get old!

Japanese meal for a new year -Osechi-

A Happy New Year celebration in Japan

Asakusa hagoita fair - Asakusa Hagoitaichi (Battledore Fair) is an annual fair held at Sensoji in Asakusa at the end of the year. Inside the temple grounds, more than 60 open-air stalls selling decorated hagoita (battledores), shuttlecocks, kites, Daruma dolls, and other New Year decorations, and hundreds of thousands of people walk around to see and get what they need. Tokyo, Japan

Geisha (芸者?), Geiko (芸子) or Geigi (芸妓) are traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance.

Beautiful Southern Japanese coastline on New Years, Okinawa

Cosmo Clock 21 in Yokohama. This ferris has a New Year's Eve countdown on its clock. I was there last years eve 2011-2012. The fireworks show was awesome!!

Japanese New Year Kagami-mochi: a sticky rice cake New Year decoration