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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

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-

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

A Happy New Year celebration in Japan

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!!

Beautiful Southern Japanese coastline on New Years, Okinawa

Kagami-mochi - offering to the gods for the New Year in Japan