Even though Christmas was a bit of a disappointment I was really looking forward to celebrating the new year Japanese style, because these guys seem to take their new year celebrations quite seriously. Admittedly though, it’s quite different compared to England and although some partying can be found, the new year is actually an occassion during which most Japanese actually spend with the family, participating in prayers at a temple, as opposed to getting shit-faced with friends at a party in England! I decided to go to Zojoji Temple on New Year’s Eve; the most popular place for new years celebrations in Tokyo is the Meiji Jingu shrine, however I heard it gets incredibly crowded which put me off, and conveniently Zojoji is just a 10 minute walk away! Zojoji is a totally awesome place to celebrate new year, its worth going any time of the year anyway! After the countdown about 3000 visitors released white balloons into the air and the Tokyo Tower welcomed 2008 with some awesome blue lighting…. no really, that was all that happened, there were no fireworks but it was still pretty cool!
You can check out my slightly shite video of the event:
My first stop on New Years Day was Roppongi Hills where a free concert was taking place. We were treated to some pretty neat music being performed by 2 Chinese women, I hadn’t seen anything like it before so I thought it was quite an interesting experience. Afterwards I went to Zojoji Temple via Tokyo Tower. Zojoji was lively with its various food stalls, visitors offering prayers and… an acrobatic monkey!!… Yep, I don’t know why myself but I think there is some significance to monkeys featuring in Japanese new year celebrations, I actually couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the poor fella, he actually kinda looked pissed off to be forced to perform in front of a bunch of people laughing at him (he was probably thinking something along the lines of ‘not again… for cryin out loud, I need my dignity dammit!!’) Anyway, good times were had by all, it’s definitely worth experiencing new year celebrations Japanese style if you visit at this time of year! Now, be sure to check out the pics 😉