Pictured : Fireworks in the snow and Shrines in Japan (with a coin connection) welcome the New Year
Above, last night's New Year's Eve fireworks as seen through the falling snow from my office balcony. Per Chinese tradition, may the demons of the past year be frightened away by the explosions.
Below pictured are my recently taken photos of Yasaka Shrine, the primary shrine in Kyoto's Gion District. Per Japanese tradition may good fortune accompany the new year. This, and other such shrines will be visited by multitudes during the three days that New Years is celebrated in Japan. This first visit of the year to a shrine or as it is termed in Japanese, hatsumode, promises to bring good fortune for those who pull the rope to ring the bell, bow, press hands together as a prayer is offered, and deposit a few coins.