The New Year’s celebrations at Gohyakurakanji kick off with the temple’s annual toshikoshi soba (end-of-the-year noodles) event. Toshikoshi soba are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve and the long noodles are a symbol for a long life. To be part of the occasion, make a reservation by phone (03 3792 6751) and pick up your ticket (¥500) at the temple office before 8.45pm on December 31.
Only 108 people will have the chance to taste the traditional dish, which will be served from 6pm until 9.30pm (last orders 9pm) at the on-site Rakan Chaya teahouse. Participants will be divided into three groups (6pm-7pm, 7pm-8pm and 8pm-9pm), so let the temple know your preferred time when making your reservation.
If you would like to participate in the traditional joya no kane bell-ringing ceremony, too, then book your ticket using the same phone number. The event is limited to 108 people as well and costs ¥1,000. You can ring the bell between 7pm and 8.30pm, but make sure to pick up your ticket at the temple office by 8.15pm latest and head over to the bell before 8.20pm.
Note that the temple grounds are only open until 10pm this year.