New Year's Day is the most special day in the Japanese calendar. During the first seven days, every Japanese home is decorated with special ornaments called kadomatsu made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume tree representing longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively1.
Japanese people drink a spiced sake called toso and eats a soup called zōni containing mochi rice cakes.
During the beginning of the year there is also a tradition to do the first shrine (or temple) visit of the year where wishes for a long life and for happiness are made. During this celebration, the temples are really crowded. Big ones like Meiji-jingu or Narita-san temple have millions of visitors over three days.2