How I celebrated New Year in Japan

First post of 2015!

My New Years of 2010 and 2011 were spent with Maiko the Producer (she's a Director in NHK now) and her family. Which I have written about in detail, and taken great photos, here and here.

The years after that, I have gone to Zojo-ji Temple in 2012 (where people released thousands of balloons in the air after countdown) and the familiar Senso-ji Temple in 2013. Last year, I had to shoot RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS and had a production meeting on New Year's Day, so it was the first New Year in six years that was spent in Malaysia.

This year, I got to return to Maiko's house for New Year Countdown.


Although getting there was an adventure in itself, having a delayed flight, and being stuck in the airport, and discovering a capsule hotel in Haneda.



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At Maiko's house with her sister Kanako and their parents, I could once again have my favourite favourite (yes, the multiple "favourites" is deliberate) Sukiyaki in the world!!!







Of course, we were watching Kohaku (The Red-White Singing Competition). I was pleasantly surprised that Sheena Ringo was invited this year as well. The fact that she had only appeared twice before is a travesty!

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And then, as the year was about to end, we had soba, of course.



The next morning, we headed to Yamanaka Lake at around 5am, just so we could catch the beautiful sight of Mount Fuji, and also the first sunrise of the year.

















Went back home and had Osechi for lunch. The traditional Japanese New Year meal, where each ingredient symbolizes something. As we were eating, it suddenly started snowing.

I have never experienced snow on New Year's Day before, not in these regions. It's going to be a great year.





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