Apart from the homes of their parents, and possibly even pachinko, the place most Japanese people will set out to visit over the New Year is the shrine. An event that, apart from a quick pray, invariably involves coughing up for a new collection of lucky charms.
And, more often than not, an omikuji (random fortune), which, after the fun of finding out if it’s a good or bad one,
can be securely fixed to something suitable and swiftly forgotten.
Thus allowing for arguably the most favoured part of most Japanese festivities, the food, which invariably comes from a fascinatingly varied selection of vendors, serving up equally varied victuals.
All the way from the savoury,
to the sweet.
Plus, for a bit of continuity, below are a couple of the same characters from last year, although one of them seemed decidedly dejected about the new decade.
And cooking with what appears to be his replacement, this still spritely old fella could well be tackling 2010 as a retiree.