Happy New year!
Hope you all had great New Year days. In Japan, the period of the first three days of January is called “San ga nichi”, happy holidays. Most of stores used to take three days off 30 years ago, but nowadays many of them are open and many customers go for shopping. I miss those days.

On the 1st Jan., we went up to “Minegoshi Pass”, one of the highest passes in Gokanosho, to admire the first sunrise of the year which is considered very happy. We enjoyed making rice cakes in a traditional way (totally hand made!), hanging out with a bunch of neighbours and relatives under the lighting devices that we brought up until the sun shows up.

Finally, the first sun rises up. We make a wish towards the sun in Shinto way (it doesn’t matter if you are not a Shinto believer.), hoping for the better days through the year. We say “The whole year’s plans are (to be) made on New Year’s Day / New Year’s Day is the key to the whole year” in Japan.

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