When did the Japanese new year start?
Since 1873, the Japanese New Year has been according to the Gregorian calendar. New Years Day is January 1. However, it used to follow the Lunar New Year which varies from year to year around the end of January.
Sine 1873, Japan has celebrated New Year on the 1st of January. Before 1873, the Japanese New Year was based on the Chinese Lunisolar calender and New Year was celebrated at the start of Spring. It is a tradition to watch the first sunrise, so a lot of people either drive to the coast or climb up a mountain to watch the Sun rise.