New Year’s Eve at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo!


Happy New Year!

Thank you for always visiting our blog “Visit Minato City”!

On New Year’s Eve, I went to the Zojoji Temple which is a historical temple in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower. There was a tremendous number of people!


Can you even see the temple? So many people!!!

Suddenly, people started to count down from 10 to 1. Everybody was shouting “Happy New Year”, but then the temple bell rang once. After that, it got silent.

The bell is rung 108 times. The 108 bell chimes symbolize the purification from the 108 delusions and sufferings in Buddhism.


Purifying incense


“Hatsumode” is an important event in Japan. It’s when everybody visits a shrine or a temple for the first in the New Year to pray for health and peace. That’s why thousands of people go to a temple or a shrine to celebrate at night. They want to be there first!


People praying at the temple.


They had a fire where they burned old prayers written on wooden boards (which are usually found in graveyards)

After I also prayed, I explored the premises of Zojoji. There were a lot of food stands and even a stand where they were handing out “amazake” (hot “sweet rice wine”) for free!



Drawing an “omikuji” ( fortunes written on strips of paper) and buying “omamori” (amulet for protection) is also something almost everybody does when visiting a shrine/temple for the first time in a new year. By the way, “omamori” make a great souvenir!


If you don’t like your fortune, just leave it at the temple!



Hope to see you soon in Japan!!
We wish you all a wonderful year!

Zojoji Temple
4-7-35 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
10 minutes on foot from Daimon Station (Toei Oedo Line)


Zojoji Temple

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I was born and raised in Kiel/Germany. When I was 16 I came to Japan for the first time. I fell in love with this beautiful country, so I returned after my university graduation. Since then, I have been living in Tokyo - and I don't plan to change anything about that ;-) My hobbies are taking a stroll around the city, taking photos and drinking coffee.

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