Woah. It’s 2013 (not to point out the obvious or anything…). Despite predictions that we would all be star dust and ash by now, we made it!
This year will be the year that, unfortunately, I leave Japan, so for our last 正月 (shōgatsu – New Year) my mum and I welcomed in 2013 at Yasukuni Shrine (this tradition is known as 初詣 or hatsumōde). Along with the masses, we counted down until midnight and offered coins and prayers at the haiden (拝殿), making sure we bowed twice, clapped twice, paused for prayer and then bowed again – without messing up the order!
We met some cool people while waiting in the crowd. One guy tried to get in every single photo and video I took. I privately call him “Mr Amazingu”, because every time I said anything he laughed and exclaimed “amazingu!” Here is a nice collection of screenshots of Mr Amazingu who jumped in my videos:
What a great guy.
It was night and I was using my iPhone so excuse the quality, but I did think the shrine and stalls at midnight were pretty! There were some scouts guarding fires around the area; something I didn’t quite understand!
Earlier in the evening, we had a very Japanese dinner with pickled and boiled vegetables, a selection of sushi, homemade miso soup and sweet wagashi with green tea. It was light and healthy compared to the feast we cooked up on Christmas Day! That’s what I love about Japanese cuisine: even the food eaten on special occasions is good for you!
Happy New Year everyone!