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New Year’s is an extremely important holiday in Japan. However, unlike much of the west, it is not so common to go out at midnight and count down the seconds to the end of the year (although this is catching on). A more traditional practice is to get up early and watch the sun rise for the first time of the year. At many scenic spots around the country one will find crowds of people, often with cameras, waiting to greet the first light. Some people try to view the year’s first sunrise because it is a symbol of the new year.