People who couldn't wait to make their wishes for New Year's flocked to shrines, temples and other landmarks nationwide early Thursday morning, and some mishaps were reported amid the day's festivities.

Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, known as one of Japan's top destinations for the "hatsumode" New Year's worship, saw thousands of people on the compound hours before the countdown to midnight Wednesday.

To manage the crowd and speed up their prayer and monetary offerings, staff prepared a large space in front of the main building equal to 400 tatami mats so visitors could throw "saisen" coins there, instead of the usual offertory wooden boxes, so visitors could make quick wishes and leave.