Friday, February 18, 2011

February New Years Post

Funny what you can accomplish when you're sick: a blog post! I think I'll be switching to this blog for my living-in-Japan experience, then going back over to LJ for my otaku tendencies. Hehe~

I won't cover everything I did during my holidays, but to sum it up from Dec. 17-23 I was back in the states for my sister Niki's catillion and spent Christmas weekend in Tokyo and visited friends. I'm so glad I spent a few days in Tokyo with my friends who I haven't seen in FOREVER. I think it helped me adjust to me being in Japan again and helped me lose my homesickness. I guess I didn't feel so alone? Something like that.

I tried to do a stereotypical New Years in Japan. First I spent New Years Eve by going to my first sento with Jessi (another Okayama JET), eating toshikoshi soba (end-of-the-year noodles), and watching Kouhaku Uta Gassen, or the red vs. white singing competition until the countdown.

New Years Day Jessi, Caroline and I spent the day shrine hunting for Hatsumode, or the first shrine visits in the New Year.

We went to 2 major shrines in Okayama: Saijo Inari and Kibitsu Shrine. Above is a pic I took at Kibitsu shrine, but I think I enjoyed Saijo Inari more because A) it was snowing while we were there B) had those awesome inari guardian dogs and C) a LOT more festival food! I was happy because I actually got good fortune this time! 2 years ago on my last trip to Japan I got a neutral one so I tied it up to a tree so I was glad I was able to take this fortune with me.

Next weekend some of the girls headed over to Shikoku to use up the Seishun 18 tickets. I was excited because one of my goals is to visit each island of Japan. I really wanted to go to Megijima Island aka Oni Island where the legend of Momotaro fighting the oni took place. Of course living in the prefecture where Momotaro is pretty much the mascot I wanted to go. Unfortunately we didn't know about the lack of ferries going to the island so we would be cutting it close if we did go. Instead we went to Ritsuin Park.

Man, this park was huge! I don't think we even got through half the park. But we were distracted by 2 things: koi and...

CATS. There were quite a few of them hanging around one of the omiyage shops. These cats were...snarky. They had attitude. There was one we called Voldemort because he had these bright green eyes and when he looked at us it was like the 'avada kedavra' of stares. Crazy cat. 

To be honest this is all I can remember of this trip. Maybe when I have time (or when I get sick again, sadly getting sick is more probable, stupid winter) I could talk about my other past adventures like my first experience in a capsule hotel. Actually that would've been a better thing to blog about, but oh well. 

Next adventure: Naked Man Festival!


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