Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Years 2008

About my New Years Eve and Day. I first slept, after my long trip, I slept for 12 hours before waking. Around 7:30 I went to Shinjuku with some friends.

We then went to dinner at a cafe. Supper there was amazing. The food was great. After chatting there for ages, we then went to Starbucks for a hot chocolate.

We hopped on the train for Asakusa and arrived there around 11:30. But our luck was the line was huge, so we walked down the side and found tons of people down there.

Many booths were set up with all kinds of food and New Year items. We stood outside the temple as people counted down and as it hit midnight, they started letting people into the shrine. It was a massive wave of people going up to the shrine. Amazing really.

We then proceeded to walk around again, and we got back on the train. I got off at my stop to change lines, and all of a sudden as I was going through the ticket gates, a old lady (Obaa-chan) stops and asks me how to get to Ikebukuro. Since I was feeling rather relaxed and calm. Had no where in particular to go right then (except home) I told her I was heading to Ikebukuro myself, and if she wanted to go together. So I then walked with her and helped get her ticket, and got on the train. But when we got on the train, boy could she run, she ran to get a seat and motioned for my to grab the seat across from here. I had to hold back my laughter, since it was too cute. She told me that it was strange that she would ask foreigner to help her, and I did help her, and that no Japanese people would help her. She was kind of confused at that, but she would talk about other things, that I couldn't really get.

At our stop, I showed her to her exit and then I was off. I told me to have a happy new years, and she told it back to me, and as I was going down the stairs called out to me to keep "genki". To keep being happy, healthy and so on. Such a sweet old lady, I was glad that I could meet her.

As I walked back towards home, I went down on street and see these three guys with a wooden barrel and wooden hammers and starting to hammer what looked like was bread. So I asked to take their picture, and they said it was fine, and the older man in a orange one suit piece (who was 50 I found out later) told me they were making mochi and if I would like to eat some.

 Creating mochi (rice cakes) is where you put boiled sticky rice in to a wooden shallow bucket-like container and patted with water by one person while another person hits it with a large wooden hammer. By mashing the rice, it gets sticky and forms a sticky white dumpling. This is made before New Year's Day and eaten during the beginning of January.

It was free and they do this every New Years for their customers (they worked in a Sushi shop) and anyone on the streets. So I was the only one there for a few min, but as they continued to hit it, more and more people would gather and call out "yoshiya" as the guy would hit the mochi. After we had a big group, they started letting people hit it. We had many guys and little children and girls hitting it. Then a few ladies pushed me forward and told me "One-san dozo dozo".

Basically telling me to try it. So I got to help make mochi. After 30 min of hitting the rice, it was ready. They cut it up and then served it to everyone. It was a really amazing time this year. I'm so glad I made this choice of celebration. Wrote these at dinner tonight.

*Exercise 4 times a week *Get a boyfriend *Travel to 2 countries I have never been to *Keep a more organized life *Get my face healed *Read two books a month. *Pass the JPLT 2 Test *Update my blog more often in a more professional way. *Learn conversational Korean *Write a book *Learn to cook Japanese food *Write in my Japanese blog once a week *Practice dance *Make 5 new Japanese friends *Travel to Osaka, Okinawa, Hokkadio *Do Sit ups and Push ups everyday *Save money aka use money more cautiously *Have a spa day with the girls *Get a new tattoo (or two XD) *Learn to Love myself more. (don't get so hung-up about small details) *Learn to be good at one arcade game *be in a musical/play/tv show/etc... *Buy a new DS lite game *But a new Camera/Laptop *Take up clarinet again and join an orchestra

  I know it's a lot, but I have high expectations for myself.

  I'll do my best! Dinner time




Shrines in Asakusa station



Massive line up of people











What do you think this is....

 

If you guessed fish on a stick you were right. XD



Group shot...very blurry.



It's me! (mimicking a guy who asked me to take his photo for him XD)



Mochi Men!





It's finished and almost time to eat.

 



Time to eat :D It was delicious.
 

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