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Tokyo temples on New Year’s Eve

Ryochoin 亮朝院 on new year's eve

Ryochoin (亮朝院) on New Year’s Eve

Most temples and shrines in Japan will have some sort of relatively low-key event planned for this evening. Unlike summer festivals, New Year’s Eve in Japan is usually celebrated by watching TV at home (maybe in part due to the temperature outside). However, most people will head out for Hatsumode (初詣) tomorrow or soon thereafter rather than participate in the ritual just after the stroke of midnight.

Today’s photo comes from the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. We didn’t stick around our neighborhood Ryochoin to see what happened there. Instead, we went to the balloon release on the other side of Tokyo, an event that no longer happens. Ryochoin is decorated in New Year’s garb in today’s photo. For what it normally looks like, click here.

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