Realising I’m one month late, but so many things happen in January! And I finally want to write again; making virtual walks videos is nice – not to mention a great exercise! – but my blogs need some love too. So here we go.

Metro didn’t run after midnight on New Year’s day this year again, so we had to make other plans. At first we were thinking of going to Tokyo Tower, but it looked like they weren’t doing much, and, as long as I would have loved to hear the traditional bells ringing, it was too cold. In the end, I realised it was 2023 at 00:03.

I like when I get to spend uneventful New Year’s eves and nights. For years our neighbors in Italy were shooting firecrackers, while I tried to assure my grandma, who had alzheimer, that we weren’t being bombarded, and my parents were trying to calm the dog, shutters closed, loud music on tv.

And also, the thing I really wanted to do this year was seeing the first sunrise over Tokyo. And sure Tokyo is quite beautiful as it changes colors as the sun rises. The first seven days of the year are considered the luckiest ones in Japan, and one of the things that bring you luck is watching the first sunrise of the year. You can watch it from anywhere, but touristy spots like Tokyo Tower or Skytree need you to book in advance and pay the entrance ticket. Haneda airport is also very popular as it’s free.

So, after the sun rose, I had this brilliant idea to go do hatsumode (first temple or shrine visit) at Sensoji. I thought it was too late for the night crowd and too early for the morning crowds. I thought so so so very wrong. There was staff at Asakusa station giving directions. It was this bad. It was just around 9 am. We laughed so hard.

It’s been the first time I ever saw people in Nakamise dori sprinting to get to Sensoji.

We prayed Kannon-sama, got omikuji – can’t complain about this year’s luck – bought an omamori and went say hi to our fox friends at Hikan Inari shrine.

And ate wagashi. Lots.