Best of 2013 in Pictures

The 89th Hakone Ekiden Race
Kanagawa, Japan – Shota Hattori (Nittai-Univ) during the 89th Hakone Ekiden Race near the 5th section goal at Hakone Ashino-Lake, January 2, 2013. (Photo by Daiju Kitamura/AFLO SPORT)

Tokyo Fire Department New Year's Fire Review
Tokyo, Japan – Ladder stunts are shown by the Edo Firemanship Preservation Association during “Dezomeshiki,” or the New Year’s Fire Review, by the Tokyo Fire Department at Tokyo Big Sight, January 6, 2013. This exhibition is held annually with various performances such as parades of fire engines or water shooting exhibitions by firemen. (Photo by Koichiro Suzuki/AFLO) (Please contact us before usage)

One Direction Arrives in Japan
Chiba, Japan – (L-R) Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles wearing Japanese traditional costumes. English-Irish pop boy band One Direction arrives at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, January 17, 2013. This is One Direction’s first trip to Japan in which they are in Tokyo to promote their second album ‘Take Me Home’. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Nippon News)

bj-league 2012-2013 Season All Star Game
Tokyo, Japan – Yoshihiro Tachibana slam dunks during the BJ-League 2012-2013 season All Star Game at Ariake Coliseum, January 20, 2013. (Photo by YUTAKA/AFLO SPORT/BJ-LEAGUE)

Ricki-Lee Special Live in Harajuku
Tokyo, Japan – Ricki-Lee appears for the special live event at Harajuku ASTRO HALL in Tokyo, Japan, January 30, Ricki-Lee visits Japan and promote her album ”Ricki-Lee”. She visited nail salon for her nails ”I love Japan” and ate yakiniku. Her favorite meat part is harami, which is a skirt steak. (Photo by Yumeto Yamazaki/Nippon News)

Tokyo International Gift Show Spring 2013
Tokyo, Japan – A visitor shakes hands with Ultraman during the 75th Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS) in downtown Tokyo, February 7, 2013. The TIGS is the largest International Trade Show in Japan, and held semi-annually, each Spring and Autumn at Tokyo Big Sight. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)

Job hunting rally in a park in the heart of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan – Hundreds of vocational school would-be graduates are in high spirits during a prep rally for job hunting at a park in the heart of Tokyo on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. According to a labor ministry survey as of October 1, 2012, out of 226,000 would-be graduates from advanced vocational schools across the country in April this year, only 91,000 or 42.6% had job offers from employers. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

Kimono Queen Contest 2013
Tokyo, Japan – Contestants shows off their kimonos on stage during the 2013 Kimono Queen Contest, February 16, 2013. Approximately 500 women dressed in beautifully designed kimonos participate in this annual event for a chance to win special prizes and given the opportunity to be recognized as a kimono model in various media outlets. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Nippon News)

Lionel Messi
Tokyo, Japan – A woman gives a close look at “The Golden Foot” during a sneak preview in Tokyo on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The 25-karat gold object, cast from the mold of the soccer super star’s left foot, is on sale for U.S. $5,217,226 at Tokyo’s jewelry store “Ginza Tanaka.” (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

2013 J.LEAGUE Division 1 match: FC Tokyo 3-0 Kashiwa Reysol
Tokyo, Japan – Naoya Kondo (Reysol) competes for the soccer ball during the 2013 J.LEAGUE Division 1 match between FC Tokyo 3-0 Kashiwa Reysol at Ajinomoto Stadium, March 9, 2013. (Photo by AFLO SPORT)

Tokyo International Anime Fair 2013
Tokyo, Japan – The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2013, an exhibition for world’s cosplayers and animation geeks, gets underway on Thursday, March 21, 2013. (Photo by AFLO)

Cherry blossoms in Japan 2013
Tokyo, Japan – Cherry blossoms in full bloom are seen in Tokyo on Sunday, March 24, 2013, more than 10 days earlier than usual year. With arrival of spring, many people enjoy viewing the blossoms all over the country. (Photo by AFLO)

Swimming: Japan Swim 2013
Niigata, Japan – (L to R) Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) and Aya Terakawa (JPN) during the Japan Swim 2013 at Daiei Probis Phoenix Pool, April 10, 2013. (Photo by Daiju Kitamura/AFLO SPORT)
Tokyo, Japan – Hon. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar meets a group of Myanmar citizen in Japan, April 13, 2013. (Photo by Mooto Naka/AFLO)

Moss phloxes in full bloom at Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu
Chichibu, Japan – A woman poses for a photo taken by her friend (not pictured) in a surrounding area of moss phloxes that are in full bloom at Hitsujiyama Park, some 70 km northwest of Tokyo, on Monday, April 22, 2013. About 400,000 phloxes delight the eyes of tourists for a month from early April on a sprawling hill located at the foot of Mt. Buko. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

Chiba, Japan – Actress Olga Kurylenko arrives at Narita International Airport, May 6, 2013. (Photo by AFLO)

The 67th All Japan Gymnastics Championship
Tokyo, Japan – Yuki Uchiyama (JPN) performs during the 67th All Japan Gymnastics Championship, Women’s Individual All-Around 2nd Day at Yoyogi 1st Gymnasium, May 12, 2013 (Photo by Daiju Kitamura/AFLO SPORT)

Art on Ice 2013 in Japan
Tokyo, Japan – Yuzuru Hanyu in action during the Art on Ice 2013 in JAPAN at 1st Yoyogi Gymnasium, June 1, 2013. (Photo by YUTAKA/AFLO SPORT)

Artistic gymnastics : The 52nd NHK Cup
Tokyo, Japan – Kohei Uchimura during the 52nd NHK Cup, Men’s Individual All-Around final round at Yoyogi 1st Gymnasium, June 9, 2013. (Photo by Yusuke Nakanishi/AFLO SPORT)

Robot Band Z-Machines Debut Live
Tokyo, Japan – Robot band Z-Machines perform on stage during a special live performance at Liquidroom in downtown Tokyo, June 24, 2013. The guitarist “Mach” can slide, shred and mute as he is also equipped with a body and soul system that allows him to head-bang. The drummer “Ashura” consists of 4 snare drums, 2 crash cymbals and 3 bass drums while the keyboardist “Cosmo” is equipped with a unique eye beam function. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Nippon News)

Synchronised Swimming: The 27th Summer Universiade 2013
Kazan, Russia – Yukiko Inui (JPN) and Risako Mitsui (JPN) during the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 Kazan Women’s Synchronised Swimming duet free routine at Aquatics Palace, July 8, 2013. (Photo by Yusuke Nakanishi/AFLO SPORT)

Sailor Suit Middle Age Man in Schoolgirls Idol Group
Tokyo, Japan – The Japanese idol group “Chaos de Japon” performance at Pasela Resorts Grande Shibuya on July 20, 2013. The middle-aged man “GrowHair”, who is producer and member of the junior-high schoolgirls idol group “Chaos de Japon”, wears a schoolgirl uniform (Sailor Suit) every weekend around Tokyo. He holds a Master in Mathematics from Waseda University and works in a printing company on weekdays. He started wearing the schoolgirl uniform in June 2011, because of a Ramen shop promotion for which people in a Sailor-suit could get free noodles. Mr. GrowHair joined the idol group “Chaos de Japon” this March. During the performance he takes pictures and also dances and sings. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)

Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick visit Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima, Japan – Director Oliver Stone(L) and Peter Kuznick, associate professor of History Department at Boston-based American University walk around the Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, August 5, 2013. (Photo by AFLO)

The Wolverine Japan Premiere
Tokyo, Japan – Actor Hugh Jackman and actress Tao Okamoto attend ‘The Wolverine’ Japan Premiere at the Roppongi Hills on August 28, 2013. (Photo by Motoo Naka/AFLO)

Tokyo Chosen to Host 2020 Summer Olympic Games
Tokyo, Japan – People celebrate after Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games at Komazawa Gymnasium, Tokyo Japan on Sunday September 8, 2013. (Photo by AFLO SPORT)

Tennis: Davis Cup 2013 by BNP Paribas -Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita 0-3 Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah
Tokyo, Japan – Tatsuma Ito in action during the Davis Cup 2013 by BNP Paribas World Group Play-off, doubles match between Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita 0-3 Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah at Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by AFLO SPORT)

Tokyo International Film Festival 2013
Tokyo, Japan – (L to R) The Actor Tom Hanks and the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival, Opening Event Green Carpet at Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo, Japan, October 17, 2013. The Film Festival will run through until Friday 25. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)

Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France
Saitama, Japan – Marcel Kittel battles with a high school sumo wrestler as members of Le Tour de France visit a Saitama High School Sumo Club, October 25, 2013. (Photo by Nippon News)

Singer Katy Perry attends a press conference for her new album
Tokyo, Japan – Singer Katy Perry poses for photographers during a press conference for her new album, “PRISM,” November 5, 2013. (Photo by YUTAKA/AFLO)

2014 Christmas illuminations in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan – Visitors are delighted by the Christmas illumination at Tokyo’s Midtown complex on Thursday, November 14, 2013. The “Starlight Garden,” a fantasy of display by 280,000 LEDs, attracts and mesmerizes visitors during the holiday season. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

Caroline Kennedy at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan – U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy to give brief remarks after presenting her credentials to the Emperor, November 20, 2013. (Photo by Motoo Naka/AFLO)

Lady Gaga Artpop Press Conference
Tokyo, Japan – US pop singer Lady Gaga (R) poses for photographers with GAGADOLL (L), a doll create that resembles Gaga and could play music when hugged, at a press conference promoting her new album, Artpop in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, December 1, 2013. (Photo by Koichiro Suzuki/AFLO)