In Japan, New Year’s Eve is used to prepare for and welcome Toshigami (年神), the New Year’s god. People clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year’s Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight in the tradition Joya no Kane (除夜の鐘). The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō (煩悩), mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.
In most cities and urban areas across Japan, New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually accompanied by concerts, countdowns, fireworks and other events. In Tokyo, the two most crowded celebrations are held at the Shibuya crossing in Shibuya and the Zojoji Temple in Minato. People gather around the Zojoji Temple to release helium balloons with New Year’s wishes up in the sky and watch the lighting of Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree with a year number displayed on the observatory at the stroke of midnight.