January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! May the New Year brings many good things to you. How was your New Year day? I believe everyone spent good time to greet the New Year around the world. The New Year day and its eve are the most important and special events in Japan.   

We somehow have a sense that we can rebirth at the New Year and make a fresh start. It is believed that Gods called "toshi-gami" visit each family at New Year day and bring us happiness and fortune. So, we feel the new year can be a much better one than last year. For this purpose, we clean up and decorate house by the eve. We also prepare special meals and nengajyo, greeting cards which are distributed on the New Year day. We were busy with preparation. 
Mt. Fuji (I took this photo by airplane last year.)
New Year's dishes and New Year's spiced sake
New Year's dishes 
Kaminari-Gate of Senso-ji Temple
Nakamise Street (approach of Senjo-ji Temple)
2013 is a snake year!
Another gate of Senso-ji Temple
Torii gate of Shimoya Shrine 
Shimoya Shrine 
Bentendo of Kaneiji Temple of Ueno Shinobazu Pond 
Soon after the New Year comes, we go to shrines and temples for praying. Even at midnight, people make a long queue to pray. This year, I went to Senso-ji Temple(浅草寺), Shimoya-Shrine(下谷神社) and Bentendo of Kaneiji Temple(寛永寺弁天堂) of Ueno-Asakusa area for the New Year's prayer. 

On the Near Year day, we gather with family and relatives and eat special dishes together. We are allowed to be drunk all day long:) We exchange presents, and children can get otoshidama, money from adults. In my case, I had special meals with all family and relatives of both my and hubby's sides on January 1. It was a really nice day to embark on the new year. Wish 2013 will be a charming and colorful year to all of us! 

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