The first day of the year 2017/1/1

New Year holidays are the biggest festival in Japan.

Most companies close their offices from Dec.30th to Jan.3rd. People enjoy the holiday in various ways, such as returning to nostalgic home town, going abroad for sightseeing, staying home with gorgeous dish and sake and so on.


I usually go to bed around 10 pm. However the last day of a year, I sat up until midnight to hear bells ringing out the old year. Then, each member of my family greeted New Year.


The first day of the year, I woke up at 5:30am as usual. Then I run to Kumano shrine nearby as per everyday’s practice. I worshipped and prayed with a small offering.


After finishing daily excise, I enjoyed the first sun rise from the top of the hill where I live. The sun started to rise at 6:59 and appeared full round figure in three minutes. It was cloudless and burning red sun gave us full energy. It was so beautiful and perfect that I felt good luck would follow in this year.


Coming back to home, I took New Year sake and special dish with my family at home. New Year dish was designed to save wives troublesome cooking during holidays and prepared in advance. The first morning, my wife just warmed special soup and baked rice cake. Each family enjoys hereditary and specific way of cooking and taste of each family.


Then I visited 5 shrines nearby which took me one and half hour. One of them is Ono shrine which was founded 1300 years ago and one of the oldest shrines in eastern Japan.  I had to make line for around half an hour to worship the shrine.

I did not have special request for shrines but just prayed for families’ healthy life.


In this way, my first day of the year has started.