New Year’s Eve — The Traditional Way

While friends are toasting champagne at salsa clubs or countdown parties at midnight, we were at a quiet temple with tranquility cerebrating the new year to come. The Zenfukuji Temple in Azabu Jyuban, is just a 10 minutes walk from Roppongi and offers people to bang the bell for free. Throughout Japan, temples are banging their bells at the same time for zero hours. Some famous temples charge their visitors by selling tickets. We killed our time at McDonald’s in Roppongi Hills until 11:30 pm then walked down to the temple. There was already a line but it moved quickly.


The temple sets lights on the main street to the entrance for people who line up


The main gate to the premise


For those who want to bang the bell, you write your name and your address on their guest book.


If you can not write Japanese you can do in English


After you sign the guestbook you will get a free shot.  Don’t get too intoxicated.



The attendance, the temple staff will escort you and how you how to bang one visitor by one visitor



My daughter’s first experience to bang the real bell


People gather around the bon fire to get warmed up



They sell Amazake, warm sweet rice drink for 100 yen a cup



This free event is provided once a year.  If you want to join me for the next year let me know.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I like how it’s so peaceful and meaningful 🙂


    1. TOKYO LIVING says:

      It was indeed peaceful. Do they do something similar in your country?


      1. Not really, I can’t imagine NY passing with such serenity.


  2. TOKYO LIVING says:

    I guess each culture does things differently. Anyhow, happy new year !


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