New Years in Japan

Photo of the Week & Japanese New Year

The common things to do in Japan for the New Years is, and approximately in this order:

  1. Clean up the house
  2. Go to your parents’ or grandparents’ house. Travel on overcrowded bullet trains (aka ‘shinkansen’), or wait in long airport cues to check in and fly, whilst hoping the poor weather isn’t going to delay your flight. Or travel on overcrowded and expensive expressways along the width of the country.
  3. Watch the NHK New Year’s Eve Boys vs. Girls performance show (as boring and as tired the format is, only about 30% of TV watchers do this)
  4. Go to a temple or shrine just before the turn of midnight to pray and to hear Buddhist sutras read to welcome in the new year. Then ring the temple bell. Go to a local Shinto shrine and have noodles and sake, and gather round a fire to keep warm.
  5. See the first sunrise of the year.
  6. Go to the parents’ or grandparents’ house
  7. Eat rice cakes (aka ‘mochi’) and mandarins, whilst catching up with family
  8. Watch the Vienna New Year’s Eve concert.
  9. Wait until the holidays finish, then…
  10. Return from your parents’ or grandparents’ house. Travel on overcrowded bullet trains (aka ‘shinkansen’), or wait in long airport cues to check in and fly, whilst hoping the poor weather isn’t going to delay your flight. Or travel on overcrowded and expensive expressways along the width of the country.

This image below, and others like it can be found on my PhotoShelter portfolio and still more like bullet train pictures at my agent’s website at Asia Photo Connection by Henry Westheim.

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