Somin-sai festival

Men at Kokusekiji, Oshu, after bathing in the river, Feb. 11. The ancient festival is to pray for good harvests and the prevention of climate disasters.

by Richard Atrero de Guzman/SIPA

A long line

the Imperial family greets well- wishers from the balcony of the palace on the Emperor’s birthday, Dec. 23 last year

by Albert Siegel

Lion dance

a street performance for Chinese New Year in Yokohama enters a restaurant, Feb. 5.

by Tomohiro Ohsumi

More icy bathing

Below right, Shinto believers pour purifying cold water over themselves at Kanda shrine, Tokyo, Jan, 26.

by Yoshikazu Tsuno