We went to Sensoji because I wanted to celebrate New Year traditionally. I remember a bunch of kids in front of us who were ahead of the police countdown and had a laugh. They almost shouted “Happy New Year!” few seconds earlier than the official countdown. Not the bangs of the firecrackers, but the sound of the bell, to greet the new year.
Of course we were late, so to get we had gone to where they were selling street food, but we wanted to pray and find out our luck, so we went out, crossed the street and got in line. We queued for about an hour. Unfortunately, however, my luck was not so good, so I had every intention of turning that around.
By then I was hungry (it was past 2 am), so we returned to the street food hall and bought a cloud of cotton candy. Which I ate returning home through the alleys of Azabujuban, before falling on the bed. With my coat on and a level of sugar in the blood to stay awake, euphoric, up to half an hour before leaving again.
Yes, because seeing the first dawn of the new year (hatsuhinode) brings good luck. According to the legend, the god of the new year appears right during the sunrise, so looking at it’s a way to welcome him. Obviously we went to Odaiba, slightly out of breath because I’m always late, on the beach with the high school kids watching the colors of the sunrise painting Tokyo in front of us. There was also the moon.
Actually I should have met with some friends who were on the other side of Odaiba to see the real sunrise. I met them later, they were very tired and I still had sugar in my circulation and I was jumping like a cricket.
So I went to the mall to do another line, this time for the fukubukuro (which I then took elsewhere) and call my parents in Italy.
I had to give up the line to go home and change: I should have been at lunch with a schoolmate and her Japanese friend. I was looking forward to enjoying a traditional Japanese New Year’s lunch for the first time, but my friend hadn’t specified the station exit! I tried to call her for an hour from the station, before I got her email complaining about the delay and giving me information like: ” take the road in front of the station and walk for a while, we are in outside the house waiting for you”.
Maybe I was sleepy, maybe it was the tone of the email or the fact that I basically didn’t know the exact directions, or the drunkard outside the station who had just yelled at me: ”Baba! Baba!”, and something else that I didn’t understand, under the astonished gazes of passers-by, but I wrote to her that I was returning home. Apologizing to her friend, who had nothing to do with it.
For some reason I got off at Shirokanetakanawa station trying to figure out what to do, whether to go home or go back (ah, being an anxious INFP!). I ended up calling Yama, “Hey, let’s go to Shinjuku to the mall”. Shinjuku malls were all closed. Here you are.
“Let’s go home?”
“No, I refuse. There must be something open somewhere. Which lines arrive at this stat… Let’s go to Tokyo station”.
Yes, because inside Tokyo station there is Tokyo Character Street, a street totally dedicated to anime shops. And there is also a Pokémon Center and Aikatsu Style, because I have 6 years at heart. Obviously the first time I tried I got lost (sic), but not on New Year’s day. I mean, I took a Flareon home with me. Hehe.
Honestly, it was a great day!