We almost didn’t make it out of the house on New Year’s Eve. I was recovering from a serious bout of gastro, and was taking it pretty easy. Moon Tan and I had started the night by playing a drinking game based on The Office. By 9:00, I was feeling a little queasy, and Moon Tan was exceedingly jolly.
Nonetheless, we did manage to venture out, and we had a blast. We got off the train at Roppongi, and I’ve never seen so many gaijin in one place in Tokyo. Everybody was out and in a good mood. Even the hawkers for the various strip clubs had smiles on their faces for once.
We did shots of tequila at a stall set up on the side of the road, and followed the crowds leading past the Russian Embassy to Zojo-ji Temple, which Google had informed us was as good a place as any in Tokyo to count down to the new year.
The place was absolutely packed, and we found a great spot where we could watch Tokyo Tower (which was lit up for the countdown) with the main temple building in the foreground. At the stroke of 12, everyone let go of balloons, and the whole sky was filled. We didn’t bring cameras, but you can find out what it looked like here and here (more photos here).
After that, we partied on in Roppongi, first at the Hobgoblin Pub, and then at some random dance party we snuck into. Good times!
Coming home via Shin Okubo Station, Moon Tan had a craving for fried potato (as they call French fries over here), so we stopped at a McDonalds. Get this: they were SOLD OUT of fries! Moon Tan wanted to punch the poor kid behind the counter, but somehow I managed to restrain her. What a massive planning fail! How can McDonalds run out of fries??
On New Year’s Day, we recovered.
Today (the 2nd), we took a trip to Asakusa, to visit Senso-ji. The first visit to a temple in the new year is a bit of a thing over here. Suffice to say it was a litte… crowded:
The police were doing an excellent job of crowd control. Literally millions of people visit this temple over the first three days of the new year. We escaped with our lives after managing to get to the altar of the temple, in order to throw our money at the place where everyone thows the money at (for luck?). Afterwards, we ate okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes) and shared a chocobanana. A good start to 2012!