The New Year

The new year started well. On the last working day of 2009 one of my collegues invited me to his parents house for new years dinner. I was a bit surprised since we had not been talking all that much at work, but I was really happy to enjoy a real traditional Japanese new year celebration and his family was really nice. Right before the dinner we tried to visit the Meiji shrine, which apparently several millions of people visit during the three first day of the year. However, when realizing that the long queue to the shrine would take 80 minutes to get through we gave up. They told me that for Japanese people waiting in a long queue makes the sensation stronger when finally arriving to the shrine, but for western people it just leads to annoyance and tiredness. It was quite interesting to see all those people though.

The first gate into the shrine.

This picture made me realize how tall I actually am in this country

Barrels full of sake. Empty since long time ago.

This wine was given as a gift from France during the Meiji period (1868 - 1912) to strengthen the relationship between the countries

Considering what happened after I guess they simply did not like the wine. Maybe it was too strong for the Japanese.

Eating traditional Japanese new year food


Home maid sushi is the best sushi


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