For many Japanese, the first thing to do at the start of a year is hatsumode. People visit a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple and make a wish for the coming year. Some of them do that as soon as the year changes. If you would like to worship at a famous shrine or a temple, you have to get in a line for several hours at the mid-winter midnight.
Even at the small shrine near my place, every year, the precincts are filled with old and young and the line of worshippers continues to the street outside. Kids, who are always told to go to bed early, are also allowed to stay up on the day.
Hatsumode, First Shrine Visit of New Year in Japan [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Jan. 1st, 2013