When the clock struck midnight, Root and I were with my brother and friends at a restaurant/bar in Manhattan. We toasted with drinks, warm hugs and wishes for a “happy New Year.” Around the world, people have different customs and celebrate in various ways.
In Japan, it's common to visit a temple to pay your respects and pray for safety, good fortune, and health in the New Year.
Tokyo's oldest and most visited temple is the Sensoji Temple, founded in 628. We visited on January 3rd, and there were still thousands of people streaming in and around the temple complex.
At another popular site, the Tokyo National Museum, we enjoyed a special New Year’s Taiko (Japanese drum) performance. Taiko drums have been used in various ways throughout history -- from communication, military action, theatrical accompaniment, religious ceremony, festival performances, and as the basis for certain social movements for minorities.