Hallo! My name’s Olga. My husband and I live in Yokohama but we met New Year with my husband’s parents who live in the city of Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. Do you want to see how the Japanese celebrate the first day of New Year?
Japan is said to be the land of the rising sun and it’s really so. On the 1st of January, 2012 we got up early in the morning and went to the ocean to see the first dawn of New Year. After 20 minutes in the car we went out at the Pacific Ocean coast. The weather was windless and warm enough.
7:01. The sun is rising but we can’t see it because of the clouds.
7:04. This couple is my husband’s sister and her husband.
7:06. We’re not alone at the coast.
7:07. The sun is in the sky but we still can’t see it. The clouds hide it and we can watch only the little red spot.
7:09. The sun showed us a little beam and we were glad.
7:11. The sun disappeared behind the clouds and we didn’t see it that day any more.
It’s great to spend time on this beach in summer.
7:16. We left the beach but someone was still waiting for the sun.
7:34. We’re at home. It’s our car. It was cloudy and wet all day long.
On coming home we began to decorate the table. Every dish has it’s own meaning and they had been cooked about 3 days before. New table cloth, dishes which are taken out only on special occasions, and food – everything is on the table.
9:10. The table is laid for 6 persons as last year it was.
The wooden teapot with sake inside. Unexpected?
A personal food tray. Everything is delicious and looks beautiful. All the food on it is made by my mother-in-law and me.
Also in the middle of the table you can see several dishes for everyone sitting at the table. They are boiled shrimps (symbolize long living) with fruit named dai-dai (symbolizes succession of generations) and a New Year dish matsumae-dzuke.
This plant is called Nanten (Nandina in Latin).In is a good preservative enabling different products to stay fresh much longer. But in Japan the word “nanten” also means “to change bad to good”.
Fish, kamaboko (something like crab sticks) and daschi-maki-tamago (omelet with sea hedgehog caviar).
We had an hour rest after breakfast and went to visit my husband’s Granny. She’s 87 and this is her house.
Having visited Grandma at about 2 pm we went to Kasama-Inari-Dzinja temple. On our way there we felt the first in 2012 earthquakes. Soon my Mum called me from Russia and I had to explain her there hadn’t been anything serious. Sometimes I have a desire to kill our journalists.
It’s about 3 pm. People are moving to/out of temple.
We have to wait for out turn to enter the temple.
The Japanese see in the 24th year of Heysey period, not 2012.
We are slowly moving to the white barrier where we can put some coins and pray for fortune in New Year.
Then we got our O-Mikudzi, a New Year fortunetelling. I had “a little happiness”
and my husband simply “a happiness”
We put them on the special ropes.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to find a place for your O-Mikudzi.
We came home only at 7:25 pm. The way was long and difficult and we were very tired and hungry. So, this it our supper.
Dzo-sui, a kind of soup with crabs, mushrooms, rice, onion, eggs and algae.
After supper we took a bath, watched TV and went to bed after midnight.
What are you waiting for? Make photos of your day and send them in! Create your sample day here!