New Year’s Eve in Japan

In Japan, part of New Year’s Eve (Omisoka) is spent preparing for the new year. People thoroughly clean their homes, cook traditional Japanese New Year’s boxed food and eat long soba noodles (toshikoshi) believed to grant family members long healthy lives.
Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve, Japanese traditionally visit a temple where a large bell rings 108 times to forgive people of 108 sins (a Buddhist belief). All over Japan, the loud ringing bells can be heard in the wind as well as on television.

Over the following three days, many Japanese make their first visit of the year to a temple or shrine to pray for a happy new year (a visit known as hatsumode). The most popular shrines for these visits are Meiji Jingu near Shinjuku in Tokyo, Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka and Dazaifu Tenmangu in Fukuoka.
Each of these shrines is within an hour of a Fujita Kanko Group hotel, where you can spend a very happy New Year’s vacation.

■ Hotel Gracery Shinjuku (Tokyo)
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■ Hotel Gracery Osaka Namba
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■ Canal City Fukuoka Washington Hotel
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