Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My New Year in Japan 2013

Got this from this site here. They had some other great 2013 pictures
  First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to everyone. 14 days late but, better late than never right.
So it's already 2013 now the year of the Snake. 2012 is long gone with the end of the world with it ^.^
How was 2012 year of the Dragon for everyone. Was it great  \(^ ^)/ or not so great (︶︹︺)

  2012 for me was.... now that I look back was definitely a good year. I didn't accomplish any of my New Years Resolutions I set at the start of 2012. BUT I did made some important decisions and entered into University safely. And I believe that I made the right decisions -thanks to people dear to me- that will make my future better and brighter. I would personally call 2012 the year of Enlightenment.
2012 was a good year ^.^ could have been better but still a good year.

  I think that New Years is a perfect time to reflect on oneself thoroughly. Just find the biggest blank piece of paper you can find and remember all the things that you did in 2012 and write them down or draw or whatever. How does it look?

Alright on we go. I spent New Years with my Host family. It was awesome.

This is a homemade dish with そば(soba)Buckwheat noodles. And on New Years Eve it would be called
年越しそば(toshi-ko-shi-soba)Year-crossing noodles. You have to eat 年越しそば on the night of December 31st and before January 1st or else it will lose it's meaning. The meaning(has many versions) of 年越しそば is, Life is long and slender like the soba. The dish itself can be anything, as long as it has soba in it.

Had some crab after eating 年越しそば. I don't think there's any special meaning to eating crab on New Years eve. I think it's more like a special occasion meal. 蟹(kani)Crab, you'll need armor-piercing teeth or scissors.

This is called 田作り(ta-zuku-ri) is a shortened version of 田を作る(ta-wo-tsuku-ru)Means to make rice fields. They're dried sardines cooked with sweetened soy sauce. In old times dried sardines were used to fertilize rice fields, thus it was named 田作り to make rice. Eating this will wish for good harvest in the upcoming year. It had a slightly sweet and fishy taste at the same time. Very crunchy they're kind of like a snack.

We went to our local shrine to do 鐘撞き(kane-tsu-ki)Bell striking, gong the big bell to welcome the coming year and say goodbye to the current. This is December 31st before midnight.

The name of our local Shrine. Let me guess, you just tried to read it from left to right o.O , you read it in reverse. I think it's read as 専念寺(sen-nen-ji) it might be wrong though. Most of the writing in Shrines and just old Japanese writing in general are read from right to left.

A very big area to pray. I think its the 拝殿(hai-den) of the shrine. Where you pray or make a wish

A small graveyard at the shrine. Very glad that there weren't any spooks around.

The early morning of January 1st. We went to a different shrine nearby to do 初詣(hatsu-moude) which is first trip of the year to a Shrine to pray and buy new protective charms. This is a small shrine so they didn't sell anything so we just made our prayers.

This is called 手水や(te-mizu-ya). Before you do your praying you have to purify your hands with the pure holy water here. Just scoop some holy water with the "tool" >.> . The water is freezing cold. Imagine pouring cold water on your hands in the cold. You'll have nice red hands ^^.

And this is the 拝殿(hai-den) where you throw in your offerings(coins) and make a wish like world domination.

The guardian lions of the Shrine. They be watching you. Do anything suspicious and they'll pounce you ^^.

This is were you burn your old charms of the previous year. Don't collect your old charms your supposed to give them back to the shrines or burn them here.

This my friends is おせち料理(osechi-ryou-ri) the Japanese New Years food that you eat on 元旦(gan-tan)First day of the year. They are works of art in their own sense. Made with extreme care. These are all homemade by our friend. They said that people who can actually make おせち料理 are decreasing because it's hard to make and you can just buy them in stores now.

All  the dishes and ingredients of the おせち料理 has a meaning like good health or prosperity. But unfortunately I don't know them yet. But I found this Link. You can get a general understanding of おせち料理 here. I just love the eggrolls.


After gorging on おせち料理 we steadily wait for the first 日の出(hi-no-de)Sunrise of the Year. I tried to see the first 日の出 coming up straight from the horizon from a tower near home 2 times and failed thanks to clouds blocking the view ヽ(#`Д´)ノ. This time we did a thorough scan of the weather and got clouds on our radar so we settled to watch it from home >.<. 

And that is how I spent my New Year transition from 2012 to 2013.
Whether 2013 will be a great year or not is mostly dependent on us so lets do our best people.


  1. Every thing is so beautiful...Wish you the best of 2013/zuw bichsen gej naidii/

  2. Thank you All for your comments!!! ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ

  3. fuyyaaa,, that's bento paradise you got here,,,,, so envy.
    i've just recently read your blog, so i was wondering if the drama around shoes locker were true in japanese school.
    Did you ever had a love letter or thumbtack in your shoes?

    Thank's for you interesting blog.