New Years in Japan is a special time. Unlike the West, where it is a fun party on the eve of the first, in Japan, the celebration is observed for several days, and rites and traditions can last the month of January. Visiting the local shrine or temple is a major event, known as hatsumode. One of the most visited temples is Todai-ji in Nara, which houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha. The figure is about 15m/50ft in height.