I dub this segment of the blog: many high-res travel photos with inane accompanying text. I'll try to keep this brief and hopefully interesting. And because I like to be entirely logical, I'll recap the last city we visited on the trip, rather than beginning sequentially.
We spent our NYE in Tokyo, at the Senso-ji Shrine in Asukusa, Tokyo.
Check. Out. That. Crowd.
Lining up to get into places pretty much defined my Japan trip. I was fascinated by the lines that stretched for numerous blocks to get into places like Max Brenner and the Apple Store. In any other country it probably would have been chaos but the linees stood patiently and comfortably waiting, guarded by policemen on every block. (I realise I said I'd keep this interesting and then just wrote a paragraph about lining up).
After spending my last January 1st with the most appalling of hangovers, I was looking forward to spending a quiet evening at a shrine with thousands of others.
It was the coldest night we'd spent in Japan and at one point I didn't think I'd make it until midnight. To pass the time we ate soba noodles (for good luck), got our fortunes read three times (until we received good luck) and ate chocolate-covered bananas on a stick.
Polite cheering and speeches in Japanese followed the countdown. The highlight was seeing thousands of camera phones out at once. The lowlight was bitter disappointment that the Skytree didn't change colour or shoot fireworks from its pinnacle. So much gaudy-potential lost.
A great night! (and definitely beat the year I was in New York and saw the ball drop. Never again.)