IN PICTURES: Japan says good night to 2018, good morning to 2019

National Jan 1, 2019

IN PICTURES: Japan says good night to 2018, good morning to 2019

Japan greeted 2019 — the year of the boar, according to the Chinese astrological calendar — Monday evening and Tuesday morning with traditional visits to both major and minor temples and not-so-traditional events, such as the massive one at the famous Shibuya Crossing, where thousands ...

Celebrating New Year's the island way

Our Lives | JAPAN LITE Dec 30, 2018

Celebrating New Year's the island way

by Amy Chavez

On the small island where I live in the middle of Japan's Seto Inland Sea, new year celebrations are stalwart traditional. Preparations start a week before when the holiday spirit wafts in on sea breezes tinted with chilling temperatures. The island holds a community ...

The annual rites of passage into the new year

National | IN PICTURES Jan 1, 2018

The annual rites of passage into the new year

On Sunday, people across Japan marked the passing of 2017 and the arrival of the new year at temples and shrines, both big and small. While the evening of oshōgatsu is celebrated in numerous ways, for many it is a time for spiritual purification and prayer ...

A celebration of Japanese traditions

National | 2017 NEW YEAR SPECIAL Jan 1, 2017

A celebration of Japanese traditions

New Year's, or shogatsu in Japan, is a time when people can get a taste of traditional Japan. People generally take the time around the New Year's holidays to relax with their families and engage in traditional activities to remind themselves of their heritage. Below ...

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

Lifestyle Dec 24, 2015

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

by Daisuke Kikuchi

As a relatively new place of worship, established less than a century ago in 1920, Meiji Shrine was originally based around the concept of wakonyōsai — a belief that treasured the Japanese "soul," while still embracing influences from the West. Its unusual omikuji, therefore, ...

Getting the year's first prayer in

Lifestyle Dec 24, 2015

Getting the year's first prayer in

by Ryotaro Aoki

Whether we are Buddhists, followers of Shintoism or atheists, the first thing many Japanese do on ganjitsu (New Year's Day) is go to their local shrine or temple for hatsumōde, a symbolic first visit of the year. If it's not done on Jan. 1, ...