As people across Japan celebrated the turn of the year, they flocked to shrines and temples Sunday morning for their traditional hatsumode pilgrimage to make a fresh start on New Year's Day.

Meaning "the first prayer of the year," hatsumode witnesses hundred of thousands of wish-makers visiting Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples during the first three days of the year.

Major destinations, including shrines Meiji Jingu in Tokyo, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Ise Jungu in Mie Prefecture, were crowded with visitors wishing to make a fresh start.