Japanese Rituals - New Year and Hatsumode
Not sure on the exact spelling of "Hatsumode" but it is the first trip to the temple to pray? for the new year...not all Japanese are constant/weekly church/temple visitors but come new year - watch out for the crowds at the temples - especially on the 1st of Jan. I think every Japanese person visits a temple from Jan 1 to about Jan 3 at least once. Go to MeijiJingu in Harajuku on Jan 1 and check out the crowd....it is large!