New Year in Kansai

After our trip in Izu, T and I decided to spend our first New Year together here in Tokyo but N, my friend in Kobe kept on inviting us to spend the New Year with them. I know they were interested to meet T.  But we were also planning to invite C , T’s friend who is spending his New Year alone in Mito, so I negotiated with N if its possible to bring C along with us. I know I am asking too much of my friend, but they were still very gracious to accommodate us all and it was a memorable New Year.

We used the Seishun 18 Kippu and left for Kansai very early on December 31, 2011. We arrived in Kyoto station around 2 in the afternoon. When we get there, it was snowing… T and C suddenly turn into two little boys playing in the snow.

Just outside JR Kyoto Station on the way to a nearby Temple
Covered in Snow


Kyoto Tower
Boys making snow man
The Mutilated Snow Man

Before heading out to N’s in-laws house, we decide to visit Gion Temple.


Gion Temple Gate

Covered in Snow

The Sakura Tree

I did not have my camera stand, and my camera is not that good with night shot so this one is a blurry.

Lake was not frozen but Trees were covered in Snow

Afterward, we head out to N’s in-law in Nara. It C first Japanese traditional New Year.   They were very hospitable and of course the food was sooo good.  After dinner , N’s father in-law took us to a nearby temple to rang the bell and pay our respect. It was my first time to do that, so I was really excited. The local resident were very excited having two foreign white guy with them and we felt so welcomed by them. They taught us how to clap our hands, how to bow our head.

Ringing the Temple Bell
The Bell

Before the New Year Eve we head back to the house and ate Soba ( Buckwheat Noodles ) . It was a long day but it felt good.


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