Pictures of the Week (Jan. 9 – Jan. 15)

Japanese New Year Ice Bath
Tokyo, Japan – Participants dressed only in loincloths and flimsy underwear pour freezing cold water over themselves during the traditional New Year ice bath ceremony at Kanda Myojin Shrine on January 9, 2016. This year 36 hardy participants braved the ice bath ritual; a traditional ceremony said to purify the soul and to bring good luck. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)

Ski Jumping: 27th TVh Cup Ski Jumping
Hokkaido, Japan – Noriaki Kasai in action during the 27th TVh Cup Ski Jumping Large Hill Individual (HS134) at Okurayama Jump Stadium in Sapporo, January 10, 2016. (Photo by Jun Tsukida/AFLO SPORT)

Japan Ice Endurance Festival
Tokyo, Japan – Participants dressed only in loincloths pray in a pool of freezing-cold water containing two large blocks of ice during the 61st Annual Cold-Endurance Festival “Kanchu-Misogi” at Teppozu Inari Shrine on January 10, 2016. Some 100 brave participants joined the purification ritual to pray for a healthy new year. (Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)

Coming of Age Day
Nagoya, Japan – Friends greet each other at a Coming of Age Day ceremony at Nagoya Civic Assembly Hall, January 11, 2016. The national holiday celebrates young adults reaching the age of majority. Approximately 1,210,000 people turned 20 this year, according to the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. The number of 20-year-olds has been in consistent decline over the past several years, reflecting Japan’s falling birth rates. (Photo by Ben Weller/AFLO)

Dondo Yaki Fire Ceremony
Nagoya, Japan – A Daruma doll burns in a fire at Wakamiya Hachiman-sha shrine, January 14, 2016. People burn New Year decorations in mid-January in ceremonies called Dondo Yaki, symbolically purging the past. (Photo by Ben Weller/AFLO)