Crowds flock to observe Japan's earlier first sunrise of 2023

About 58,000 people flocked to a beach in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, to observe the first sunrise of 2023. Cape Inubosaki in the city of Choshi sees the New Year's Day sunrise earlier than anywhere else in Japan, except for mountaintops and remote islands.

On Sunday, winds were mild and the sea was calm. The sky gradually turned orange and the sun emerged above clouds on the horizon shortly before 7 a.m. Spectators prayed and took photos.

The cape is not the easternmost point of the country. But city officials say the sun rises early in a 10-day period around January 1 due to the tilt of the Earth's axis.

In the city of Osaka, western Japan, hundreds of people watched the year's first sunrise from the top of the country's tallest building.

Abeno Harukas is 300 meters high, with 60 stories above ground.

The operator holds an event every year allowing people to enjoy an unobstructed view of the first sunrise from the observatory and heliport.

About 260 people who applied in advance gathered while it was still dark on Sunday.

There were some clouds near mountains in the east in the morning. But the sun appeared shortly after 7 a.m., casting light through the clouds.