I remember your pix from ‘07, and how impressed I was with the Japanese enjoying the spirit of the Christian holiday. Ok, so the secular end .. but the spirit is there even in the secularism.
My daughter spent 2 years in Fukishima, the people could not have been more warm and wonderful to her. I have a very warm spot in my heart for the Japanese. As I recall, New Years Eve is a major Japanese holiday? Visiting ancestral resting places?
The visiting ancestral graves is more for mid August (Obon) but some people do that in January, but many less. Mostly it is eating a lot around the home, going to a shrine to pray for a good year, wearing good clothes, watching a lot of silly TV, reading magazines and books portending what the future year will bring, usually heavy on economics and politics. Tht is typical Japanese New Year. (oshogatsu). Yes.
My experience with the Japanese is that they are courteous and polite to a fault; unless you’re at war with them. Then their manners go right out the window.