Reminiscing: New Year’s Eve

I don’t remember what year, but I do remember one New Year’s Eve in my early twenties when I spent with my friends and seniors from my club activities at college.

Worship at the temple around 12:00 AM

We decided to spend New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house in a peaceful area of Tokyo with many fields. There is a temple near her house, and I was told that at midnight, the temple would ring the New Year’s bell and serve sweet sake. So I went to the temple from about 11:45 pm when the Red and White singing year-end TV show was over.  There were many local people there, and it was very lively.

First sunrise (of New Year)

My friend’s father suggested that we go see the first sunrise tomorrow morning, so I decided to go to bed right after returning from the temple.  I think this was the first time I went out of my way to watch the first sunrise.

The first New Year’s sunrise I saw was divine.

So, what should we do now?

Later, we talked about going to the temple called Takao Mountain.

Takaosan (The temple on the mountain)

We took the ropeway to the top of the mountain, and before we went to the temple, there was a monkey park where a lady explained to us that there is a hierarchy in the monkey world and that there are elite monkeys who do well and those who fail, and some monkey moms abandon their children. There are many kinds of stories in the monkey world. After Mt. Takao, the senior members decided to go home.

Trying to go to the public bath but…

After that, we decided to go to a public bath, and since we didn’t know where to find one (this was before Google), we decided to go to Asagaya, where my friend used to live when she was a kid and was familiar with the area.

We went to Asagaya and went to a public bath, but unfortunately, it was closed. At that time, I found out that public baths are usually closed on New Year’s Day, although they are open on New Year’s Eve. As we were wondering what to do, my friend said that when she was little, her mom and friends used to take care of each other’s kids at a daycare center and that one of her friends from that time lived nearby.

We ping-ponged without an appointment, and there he was. He was stunned by the sudden visitor, but he let us in. It was as if he hadn’t expected anybody to be there at all, and we immediately went outside to Jonathan’s (restaurant) to make small talk.

When we left Jonathan’s, the sun was already setting, and I headed home, feeling pleasantly tired.

Year of the Tiger New Year Card
Year of the Tiger New Year Card