Technically, I went to the shrine twice on the 1st January: first for the countdown to midnight, and the second time was to eat lunch there from the food stalls.
I had the most delicious modan-yaki (モダン焼き), which is a kind of okonomiyaki savoury pancake, except it includes noodles. Then for a dessert of sorts, I had my favourite street snack: imagawayaki (今川焼き), which is a cake made from waffle batter, and filled with azuki bean paste or chocolate. See below:
Free entertainment was also provided, in the form of taiko drummers and a traditional Japanese dancer:
It turns out that it’s not just me who likes to eat my way round the festival; this dragon was a bit peckish too…
It was a lovely experience, but I was very glad that I’d come (much) earlier in the day when the year turned over – look how many people came for the festival!