- See the old year out with a calm and quiet heart
- In order to get rid of one’s troubles, and to welcome the new year with a new attitude
- Try and ring “Joya no Kane” yourself!
See the old year out with a calm and quiet heart
How is everyone going to spend New Year’s eve? Some of you will probably spend it at a countdown party with your friends, having fun all night. In Japan, everybody looks forward to the New Year, but they actually welcome it in a quiet manner. If you have ever spent a New Year’s eve in Japan, you have probably heard the sound of the temple bells ringing in the middle of the night. But do you know the meaning of those bells being rung over and over again?
The sound of those bells is called “Joya no Kane,” and they are purifying bells that are rung starting on New Year’s eve and continuing on after the New Year begins.
In order to get rid of one’s troubles, and to welcome the new year with a new attitude
The “Joya no Kane” are rung 108 times.
There are many theories regarding this, but it is said that they are rang 108 times in order to remove the 108 worldly passions of human beings. These are all troubles of the mind, such as desire, anger, and pain. Temple monks are always practicing asceticism in order to get rid of their worldly passions. “Joya no Kane” are believed to have the power to purify the hearts of ordinary people who do not have experience with those kinds of strict ascetic practices, and they are a custom that has continued until our days.
After knowing this, one may feel as if the pure sound of the bells quietly thrills through them.
Try and ring “Joya no Kane” yourself!
Usually it is only monks who ring “Joya no Kane.” However, there are some temples where visitors are allowed to ring the bells too.
Ringing “Joya no Kane” yourself to purify your heart of worldly passions and welcome the new year with a renewed heart feels like it might bring about something good!
■Temples where visitors can ring “Joya no Kane”■
【Takahatafudoson Kongoji Temple】
– Numbered tickets are distributed to the first 108 visitors. Make sure you are early!
– 5 min. walk from Takahatadufo Station via Keio Line / Tamatoshi Monorail
– All those who wait in the line are allowed to ring the bells, without limits to the number of participants!
– About a 20 min. walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line