I have a little extra time during the holidays so I thought I would show a few Japanese New Year's traditions and give some context for those of you who are interested.
On the first sunrise of the New Year, it is a custom to get up in time to bow and give thanks to the sun for the previous year's warmth and life, and to ask for another year of its daily visits. Here we see the sun rising over a snowy Mt. Hiei (比叡山), one of the largest mountains in Kyoto Prefecture. I am very fortunate to be able to look out my window and see this mountain every day. In fact, I took this photo, with the help of a tripod and zoom lens, from the front window of our apartment.