New Years is arguably one of the biggest celebrations in Japan. It is definitely the busiest time of the year in the ski resorts. Our guesthouse was completely booked out and the streets and restaurants were packed with people. The staff of the guesthouse decided to go to the fireworks at one of the ski areas. Before that we made some burgers and some of us went to an Izakaya, a Japanese Pub. Here are some pictures of the night.
After the rather short fireworks, it’s tradition to go to a temple or shrine for the Hatsumōde, the first praying of the year. It was quite busy and there are quite a few steps you have to do.
First you have to wash yourself. First you pour some water on your left hand, then the right. Then you pour some more watering your left hand to wash your mouth. Finally you have to clean the cup by pouring the remaining water over the stick that’s attached to the cup.
When you finally arrive att he temple, you have to throw some money in a box, bow twice, then ring the bell that’s there. Then you have to clap twice before actually saying your prayer and wishes. After that you bow one final time and that’s it.