Visitors pray for happier new year at Tokyo shrine

STORY: "I want to make this a year of real leaps and bounds," said 51-year-old Naomi Miyaishi.

"This year is very special, like the world starts opening the borders for foreigners, so (it) feels thrilling to be back to Japan," 40-year-old Taiwanese musician Wan-ju Wang said.

For many people, the tradition is a chance to pray for solutions to global issues.