Hatsumode is the first customary visit of the year to the shrine or temple and even if many Japanese are going during the very first hours of the New Year, it can be performed during the first days of the year.
Of course, the important shrines or temples are preferred by most people, which makes not only the shrine but the whole neighborhood extremely crowded, but the crowding in Japan is not all bad, it is very calm and disciplined. A Hatsumode waiting queue takes hours at best, but the people are always relaxed, even smiling…
２０１４年 あけまして おめでとう ございます
As for the last year, you can listen to a review of the top news stories of 2013 on the GaijinPot’s GPod podcast.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: