The New Years Back in Tokyo

I know I am pushing the limit by still posting new years related photos.
But I promise these are my very last. They were all taken after coming back to Tokyo and slipping back into reality. Cold windy days. So to brighten up my days, I did what any normal person would do and stuffed myself with delicious food and snacks! Oh and flowers!
Here are some photos:
The whiff of smoke is said to heal the places is touches.
regional omiyage // hozomon // omikuji drawers // strawberry daifuku
My omikuji…so crazy but I got dai-kichi (大吉) again! (three in a row!)
The ingredients for Nanakusa-gayu (七草粥), traditionally eaten on January 7th.
chinatown sweets are the prettiest // plump white flowers with a shade of pink
Nothing like gorgeous weekend flowers and snowflake nails to start of this year right! x

13 thoughts on “The New Years Back in Tokyo”

  1. It's perfect timing for New Year's photos, because here's the African barbarian, finally popping in to read all your stories. Please accept my grateful thanks that you don't always operate on Japan time. 😉
    PS: That sheep cookie/bread thingie is too cute!


  2. Oh my goodness! It's been a while since I've gotten a comment from my friends from the Daily Photo days! Thank you so much, it's lovely to hear from you 😀


  3. I like the way you essentially get the whole bouquet and your hand in the two vertical photos. Nice.

    There is a 2,000-year-plus Japanese poem from the collection One Hundred Poems from One Hundred Poets (#15) that is about collecting the seven herbs of spring. Your photo makes me grin widely to see the practice still alive and well.


  4. Tall Gary, thank you for noticing! I like playing around with instagram photos and matching my nails to my flowers ;D

    You've just reminded me through the poem that Japan has a VERY long history. Somehow I always forget. The poem makes me feel connected to the people who walked on this land thousands of years ago…although instead of walking out into the snow to gather the herbs, all I did was step inside a supermarket!


  5. I hope it’s something like temporary alcohol-induced brain atrophy rather than early Alzheimer’s but a poem written in the 9th century would be “only” more than 1,000 years old (not as a foolish Tall Gary wrote above, 2,000) but how many years before that poem did the tradition get started? It does sound like something the Jomon people would be into so if that were the case the tradition could go back more than 10,000 years.

    But, yes, 800 AD is a long time ago. Especially for cultural persistence. People around that same time on the island of Great Britain (the forebears of those of us in the English-speaking world) were writing stuff like Beowulf in Anglo-Saxon. The first five lines of which are below:

    Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
    þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
    hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
    Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,

    Not too many present-day English speakers (apart from scholarly specialists and poor benighted English majors) have the slightest clue.


  6. I answered at my place your question as to whether the Heian Emperor gathered the herbs himself. I would now have to say, after a little research: he undoubtedly did when he was still a prince. There was annually a big event on the first Day of the Rat of the year when the gathering took place around the 21st of the first month. And yes, the “young greens” of the Heian period became the “seven herbs” from the time of the Kamakura period. But what is most interesting is that along with the young greens the Heian court people would also pull up small pine trees and bring them home and place them at their gates as talismans of long life and good health. Guess what this became? New Years and pines. Hmm. You’re right! Today’s kadomatsu.


  7. You have blown my mind again, Tall Gary! Not only do I not have a sense of how old Japan is but I also have a difficult time combining Japanese history with world history (as in Europe was doing this while Japan was doing this…).

    I'm also surprised that the present day computer can sprout Anglo-Saxon texts. How fascinating. And thank you for answering my question regarding the Emperor.


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