Setting Intentions in Kochi

New Year's Eve morning, 2015. Seven years ago. I am sitting in the Emperor Award winning garden of my friend Maki's grandfather. I have travelled to Takimoto, Kochi, Shikoku, Japan with my friend Maki, her two kids and my two kids. It is my third New Year alone, after losing my late husband, Michael. It … Continue reading Setting Intentions in Kochi

New Year’s Day in Japan

girls making mochi the old fashioned way on New Years Day in Kyoto

New Year's Day in Japan is, like New Year's Eve, a spiritual and significant time. Many people visit their local Shinto shrine on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of January. Known as 初詣(hatsumode-or first temple visit) this is very important. Last year we arrived at Harajuku station on the 2nd of January, to find an … Continue reading New Year’s Day in Japan

New Year’s Eve in Japan

People lining up to ring the temple bell in Kyoto for New Year's Eve

I spent last NYE in Kyoto, and to say that this year is a bit of a let down is an understatement. I have always found New Year's to be a fairly meaningless celebration, which is generally a disappointment. I love the potential of a new year... brand new diary, new beginnings, new adventures. It … Continue reading New Year’s Eve in Japan