Pictures of the Week (Jan. 3 – Jan. 9)

Japanese Workers Pray for a Successful 2015
Tokyo, Japan – A huge throng of businessmen and women pray for thriving businesses at Kanda Myojin Shinto Shrine in Tokyo on Monday, January 5, 2015, the customary first business day of the new year. The holy place is believed to enshrine deities of agriculture, that bring about a good harvest; and of fishery, that bring about a plentiful catch. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

2015 New Year's Parade of Firemen in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan – Members of the Edo Firemanship Preservation Association balance on top of bamboo ladders in their aerial daredevil stunts during a New Year’s Parade of Firemen in Tokyo on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

The 67th All Japan High School Volleyball Championship
Higashi Fukuoka High School team group cheer each other on during the 67th All Japan High School Volleyball Championship match men’s quarter finals match between Higashifukuoka 2-0 Narashino at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, January 7, 2015. (Photo by AFLO SPORT)

Japanese New Year Ice Bath 2015
Tokyo, Japan – Participants pour themselves cold water during the annual new year ice bath ceremony at Kanda Myojin Shrine, January 10, 2015. A group of 38 brave men a women wearing only shorts or loincloths pour cold water over themselves in a traditional “soul-purification” ceremony to test their endurance, they believe would purify their souls and bring them good luck. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)