On New Year’s Eve, Zojo-ji Temple 増上寺 Zojoji is surounded with food stalls selling all the traditional Japanese cuisine at a coin’s cost. Japanese pancakes お好み焼き okonomiyaki, oden おでん, octopus balls たこ焼き takoyaki, rice cakes もち mochi and sweet wine あま酒 amasake – warm and filling at around 500 JPY an order. Come half past eight in the evening, the temple aides hand out sheets of wishing paper to 3,000 visitors. The lucky 3,000 are then given balloons an hour and a half before the New Year arrives. Holding on to wishes, the sheets of paper are strung onto the balloons and released all together in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… The skies are filled with clear yet dreamy balloons reflecting the light display of Tokyo Tower right behind Zojo-ji Temple. As wishes flew up to the sky, the temple bell is rang, paper fortune おみくじ omikuji are drawn and incense is lit. JR Hamamatsucho Station’s 浜松町 North Exit, along with the 3 nearby Tokyo Metro Stations, is then filled with smiling Zojo-ji visitors – all hopeful for a wonderful New Year ahead.