Welcome, 2012!

New Years Day service at a Shinto shrine in Namerikawa, Japan

Happy New Year, everyone!

あけましておめでとうございます!

I spent my Christmas break in Vietnam and Cambodia and have much to write about my journey, but I am enjoying some relaxing time in Japan now.

In Japan, the New Year’s holiday (oshogatsu, お正月) is the most important holiday of the year and many Japanese spend it with their families.  Several of the Japanese women I know said they would be busy preparing elaborate food (osechi-ryori) for the special celebration.

After a hearty New Year’s breakfast, I visited my town’s Shinto shrine to pray for a happy and healthy 2012.  I wish you all the same.

Omikuji (おみくじ), little strips of paper with fortunes written on them, at a Shinto shrine in Namerikawa
Shinto shrine in Namerikawa, Japan

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