Most Buddhist temples start ringing their bells 108 times late on New Year's Eve. It continues to the early hours of New Year's Day. People welcome the new year, hearing these bells.
It's said that the 108 bells symbolize the casting away of 108 earthly desires, “bonnou”, which are believed to cause human suffering.
If you have the opportunity to come to Japan, going to the temple at the Eve is another experience to feel Japan.