HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
New year's Day was spent quietly at home with Juan and Mom. We feasted on fresh dunguness crab while reading our New Year's post cards. FYI In Japan New Year's cards that are postmarked by a certain date are all delivered on January 1st. It's like getting an extra present after Christmas. And if you forgot someone on your list, it is still acceptable to send new year's cards until the 15. Most people either get their cards professionally done at the camera shop or hand make them with colorful stamps and stickers. Pictures of family members, pets, new babies or weddings are popular and no card is complete without the Japanese zodiac animal of the year. 2008 is the year of the Rat, however, since rat's are not very cute... pictures of cute mice have covered many a card.
On the 2nd of January we headed out into the city for a day of Tokyo Traditions. First stop was the Imperial Palace where we (and thousands of other loyal nationals) got a view of the Emperor and some of the royal family. Plenty a flag was waving (they gave us them as we headed into the palace grounds) as everyone stretched and pushed for a view and a picture of Japan's #1 Family.
Next it was on to lunch and shopping in Shinjuku before heading out to Harajuku and the Meiji Temple. Thousands of people, including us, were lined up outside Tokyo's head Shinto temple to offer their blessings for a happy and prosperous new year. After throwing a coin or two into the heavily guarded designated area we headed out into trendy and crowded Harajuku for a little shopping and crepe eating before returning home. MMMmmmm Crepes!!! I hope all of you have a wonderful 2008!!!