A queue of over 200 m formed as Japanese people flocked to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to pay tribute to the war dead on Thursday.
The shrine honors convicted war criminals among the dead, including wartime leader General Tojo.
Around 250,000 people visited the shrine from Jan. 1 to 3.
Shrine administrators said numbers have surged since the visit of rightwing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Mounting international criticism appears only to have encouraged visitors, who paid tribute to the war dead in silence and prayed for good luck for the new year.
Some members of the far-right organizations distributed leaflets to passersby at the entrance.