Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hatsumoude at Haishiwa 初詣@配志和

Happy New Year 2006 (Western Calendar), Heisei 18 (Japanese Standard), 2666 (Japanese Imperial, defunct)!

I went to Haishiwa, a rather large shrine about 10 minutes away by bike (downhill) for my hatsumoude, First Prayer of the New Year. Compared to my first time going to a shrine at New Year's in Shizuoka, the streets were empty. So was the shrine. This picture is of the lantern at the entrance to the stairs leading up.

I reached the top of the hill at around 11:45 and there were only maybe 20 people there. After standing around for a bit like an idiot, I struck up a converstation with an old man to pass the time. I find that the really old ones often have their own personality and are not afraid to express what they think. We talked about the giant trees at the shrine, how not many people come anymore, whether or not the table holding the New Year's arrows was going to tip over, the Japanese custom of everyone following two religions at once, and what religion is like in Other Countries.
11時45分ぐらい坂の頂に着いたが20人ぐらいしか居なかった。時間を過ごす為にお爺 さんと話し始めた。なんか年上の日本人は個人的な性格あるし自分の 考えは遠慮なくて言うと思う。神社の巨杉とか少ない人数とか福屋が置いてある台が落ちるかどうかについて話した。そして、日本人が二つの宗教(神仏)を従 う習慣の事と他国の宗教についても話した。

Two girls had also climbed all the way up the stairs. I attempted conversation with them like with the old guys but all I got was nervous giggles.

Buying some talismans, I used The Cheesiest Line in the Book - "Oh, excuse me, I'd like to prove to my friends that I met a real miko - may I take your picture?" to get this. Cute, isn't she!

Nobody I knew was there, so I went back down the stairs. I noticed that a LOT of women were wearing short skirts and boots. Hello?!?! It's frikkin' middle of winter midnight freezing! Fashion slaves. The signs may say 'Welcome Spring', but ever since the Meiji Government changed the calendar the new year no longer occurs when it is warm.
神社で知り合いは居なかった のでまた階段を下げた。でも、なんかブーツと短いスカートを履いている女性達を一杯見た!もしもし??冬の真ん中の夜半の凛々 しさ感じない??流行奴隷。「迎春」が書いてあるかもしれないけど、明治政府が暦を変えて新年はもう暖かい季節に起こらないよ。

There was a Nichiren Buddhist temple a few minutes away so I went to check it out. Not too many people there either. Still, it was cool to hear the chant of the sutras being read.

The stores are all set for the New Year's Day sales ...

This morning I got a nengajo from the Suzuki family. Sweet! I feel horrible because I didn't get my in-Japan ones sent out on time ... I will mail them today.

Oh and my ISP is an idiot. To use your 10MB (only!!) of free webspace you have to register and then they process your application, which takes days. What the hell!!!!

And here's my banner for the New Year.

5 Comments 論評:

  • What ISP are you using? NTT???

    Have you tried MSN or Yahoo?

    "Livedoor" is supposed to be one of Japan's free internet providers too.

    There is Jens Spin Net

    anyway, let me know...

    By Anonymous Alex, at 1/02/2006 5:54 AM  

  • Happy New Year to you as well.

    By Anonymous Charlene, at 1/02/2006 11:46 AM  

  • あけおめ~。ことよろ。(^^)

    By Anonymous 美爾依, at 1/02/2006 3:50 PM  

  • Yup, NTT is my provider ... I got 一万円 off the price of my laptop if I went with them. Oh well if I need gigabytes of server space then I can look into other options.

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 1/03/2006 2:21 AM  

  • Happy New Year Pat!

    By Anonymous Chris, at 1/03/2006 3:14 AM  

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