Here is a selection of Kyodo News photos taken in Japan and beyond this week.
Swordsmiths hammer steel in a New Year ceremony to pray for safety and success on Jan. 2, 2021, in Seki in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
People walk in the snow in Toyama, central Japan, on Jan. 2, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
People frolic in the sea in the Wakayama Prefecture city of Tanabe, western Japan, in a "First Swim of the Year" event on Jan. 2, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Photographers take pictures of Komazawa University anchor Takuma Ishikawa at the finish line in Tokyo's Otemachi business district in the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay on Jan. 3, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
A platform for shinkansen bullet trains is nearly empty at JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on Jan. 3, 2021, amid the coronavirus pandemic. In ordinary years, train stations are crowded on Jan. 3 as many people return from holidays. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
A woman wearing kimono arranges flowers during a New Year "ikebana" event at Japanese floral art school Ikenobo in Kyoto on Jan. 5, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Firefighters perform traditional ladder acrobatics during a New Year event organized by the Tokyo Fire Department on Jan. 6, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
People wearing masks pass through JR Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on their way to work on Jan. 7, 2021. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency the same day for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel clear snow at an elementary school in Yokote in Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Jan. 7, 2021. About 240 GSDF personnel have been mobilized after heavy snow hit the region earlier this week. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
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Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - December 26~January 1
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - December 19~25
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - December 12~18
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - December 5~11