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Updated: December 1, 2023
Many people in Japan visit a shrine or temple on the night of December 31. Amidst the sound of a bell ringing exactly 108 times, people welcome the New Year by offering up their prayers. This practice is called hatsumode. Another common pattern is to celebrate New Year's Eve at home, and perform the hatsumode as their first outing of the new year. People often complete the day by hitting the shops for January sales, or heading to another special event. It's an extremely memorable time of year.
Notably, Meiji-jingu Shrine, which was built in celebration of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, draws several million people between New Year's Eve and January 3. In 2024, the shrine will commemorate the 110-year anniversary of Empress Shoken's death.
Take part in the hatsumode tradition and pray for health and good luck in the year ahead.
Please check the official event website for the latest updates on opening dates and times, prices, and other information.