Tokyo is leading the way into 2009/ 2009年を最初に迎える都市、東京
Happy new Year and may Peace, Justice and Health be within reach for all on Earth this Year of 2009. Sincere Regards, Uwe Paschen.
明けましておめでとうございます。２００９年、全世界に平和と正義と健康が訪れますように。 敬具 ウーヴェ・パッシェン
Now here in Japan we are actually entering the 21s Year of the Heisei era and not 2009, since we count each Emperors reign as an Era and go by the Years the last Emperor that has been Crowned.
New Years eve is spend at the temple or Shrine, where the Bell or gong is sounded to summon the Gods Attention to once New Years Prayers. Great soup stands are usually along the way and some tea as well to keep warm.
New Years day Meditation and Prayers with offerings to the Gods are followed by a great feast and family gatherings with much fun and some Sake of course.
No night clubs nor parties on New Year's eve, since the Japanese New Year would be best described or rather compared with the way the Western Christmas is celebrated in Europe and North as well as South America and some areas of Africa and Asia.