Turning Japanese…

I am writing this with a toddler hanging onto one knee…

As my “Millenium” post covered the Japanese New Year in more detail I will leave this post to this year’s observations and doings only. When I was a teenager, I remember dancing to some silly tune called “Turning Japanese”. Back then, I never even dreamed I would even visit Japan let alone marry and live here. To top it off, the longer I stay here the more I’m “turning Japanese”. I’ve resigned myself to not going out for a big New Year’s party and have given in to the custom of staying at home with the family. Of course with a toddler that is almost a necessity…

Oh no, aforementioned toddler is now on my knee and wants to write…

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Ok, I have control again…

So this New Year’s eve I stayed home and made buckwheat noodles for dinner. This “toshikoshi soba” is about as important to the Japanese at New Year’s as turkey is to thanksgiving. I actually did a pretty good job (of course they were all pre-made and even came with a bag of broth that just needed heating but I DID have to make the fixings to go with it.

I didn’t even get to countdown to 2008 this year, because I passed out while singing the toddler to sleep. I remember nodding off mid song and picking up again with something or other. I was happy enough to get an extra hour’s sleep because for the 2nd year in a row, I climbed  Odo Mountain to watch the first sunrise of the year. (*note: hubby is more than happy to stay home with the toddler in the toasty warm futon while I go out into the cold darkness)

This year it was COLD for New Year’s. We even got snow on Dec 31st and the weather man was calling for more of the stuff for Jan 1st too. Not a good sign. Just the same, I got my gear ready and luckily I did because I SLEPT IN! I woke up at about the time I should have been in the parking lot meeting the others. I leaped out of bed, got dressed while I waited for a pot of coffee to perk, threw that in the thermos and raced off to meet my one true hiking bud, C-chan (the other “hikers” were nowhere to be seen).

We headed off and got to the foot of the “mountain” (it’s only 420m high). Now, climbing this to watch the sunrise is a big event in this town and last year there were several hundred people at the peak. I don’t know if it’s a Japanese custom or just a local thing, but it is a really great way to kick of the new year. We got there and saw that most of the “hikers” were at the parking lot chatting and eating the wild boar stew that the locals offer the hikers. Then we realized that a lot of would-be hikers decided to stop here.

Since we’d made the effort to get this far, we decided to go to the top anyway and hope for a break in the flurries and clouds.  We huffed and puffed to the top to see a crowd of about 20 people, including organizers. We were all hoping for the best but we had no such luck. Oh well C-chan and I toasted 2008 with a hot cup of coffee and headed back down. We had our hot bowl of wild boar stew and headed off to the shrine to make our New Year’s wishes and to draw our fortunes. If a 100 yen fortune is a good prediction of the year to come, C-chan and I are in for a rough year. Oh well…

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About MrsMom

Just another Mom but trying my best to raise my two in the outback of Japan
This entry was posted in Japanese Festivals and Fun, Life in Japan. Bookmark the permalink.

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