People wishing to make a fresh start on New Year's flocked to major shrines and temples across the archipelago Friday morning in the annual ritual known as hatsumode (first visit of the year).

Major destinations of wish-makers, including Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Ise Shrine in Mie Prrefecture and Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, were crowded with visitors, who will number hundreds of thousands during the first three days of the new year.

At Meiji Shrine, people cheered when they heard the sound of taiko drums telling the turn of the year.