Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Cultural Celebration

37th Annual Japanese New Year’s Bell-Ringing Ceremony

Come celebrate with your museum community for an experience the San Francisco Chronicle calls “a great way to end a year and start a new year.”


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The first in-person bell-ringing ceremony since 2019: after two years of ringing the bell virtually, one of the museum’s most popular and long-running annual events is happening in person again — and we want to see you there!


Program Schedule 

9:30–11 AM: Members only Bell Ringing

11–11:30 AM: Touch tour of the temple bell for Blind and Visually Impaired Guests (pre-registration required) 

11 AM–2 PM: Hands-on Art Activities 

11:30 AM–1 PM: General Public Bell Ringing 

12:15–1 PM: Descriptive and tactile tour for Blind and Visually Impaired Guests (pre-registration required) 

Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell. Led by Reverend Gengo Akiba, this inspiring ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Reverend Akiba will begin the bell-ringing, and then it’s your chance to ring the bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds or ill luck from the previous year. The bell will be struck 108 times to usher in the New Year and curb the 108 mortal desires (bonno) that, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind. While you wait your turn, fold paper cranes for luck and prosperity in the new year.

We encourage visitors to purchase general museum admission tickets before coming to the museum on December 31. An admission ticket guarantees entry to the museum, but visitors interested in joining the Bell Ringing Ceremony must pick up separate tickets to ring the bell at the main entrance to Samsung Hall once on-site.  This event is first come, first served. To ensure you have a chance to ring the bell, we recommend that you arrive at Samsung Hall no later than 12 p.m. Members enjoy early admission to this event. 



The Asian Art Museum is committed to making its events accessible to all. This event is wheelchair accessible and assistive listening devices (ALDs) will be provided. ASL interpretation is available upon request; please email [email protected] two weeks prior to the event to request an interpreter.

We invite our blind and vision-impaired community members to engage in a tactile experience as part of this annual celebration. Join us for a touch tour of the temple bell and receive priority seating for the ceremony. A descriptive tactile docent and storytelling tour of the newly renovated Japanese galleries follows. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Email [email protected] to reserve a spot.    

Organizers & Sponsors

Cultural Celebrations are made possible by Bank of America. Support for the Asian Art Museum’s Japanese Bell-Ringing Ceremony is provided by The Henri & Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation.