Japanese mark new year with shrine visits and sunrise viewing
Japan Today -- Jan 01
Millions on Japanese ushered in the new year early Monday by visiting shrines, as well as going to vantage spots to watch the first sunrise (hatsuhinode) of 2018.

The big shrines were packed as usual just after midnight and again during the day. Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, in particular, welcomes a huge wave of worshippers each year on Jan 1.

Officials at the gigantic shrine said Sunday they expected three million visitors in the first three days of the new year. Smaller neighborhood shrines throughout the country also received a steady stream of visitors.

Seeing the first sunrise of the year has become a ritual in Japan. Despite an overcast day and a high of only 5 degrees in Tokyo on Sunday, the skies were blue and the temperature rose to 12 degrees in the capital Monday morning, providing spectacular views of the dawn from Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower and several beaches in the Kanto region.

News source: Japan Today
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