Finally figured out how to compress my photos (I think). So here are some photos I took during the last few days. Above is a photo I took from our balcony.
The first one below is a hoarding of David and Victoria (Posh) Beckham hawking whatever they are hawking at the same spot in Aoyama Dori (Avenue) which I pass by every day on my way to and from office.
The rest were taken last Sunday (3 Feb) when it snowed for the first time since we came here. I mean, REALLY snowed (it snowed a little on 28 Jan). The snow gods sure have bad timing. I had hoped and prayed for a White Christmas. Indications were good a week or so before Christmas, making me dream of my last White Christmas all those years ago. But then the snow never came. New Year came and went. No snow. And now, just when I least expect it, it starts snowing like crazy.
Anyway, woke up early as usual on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised to see everything white outside. I was due to attend the ‘setsubun’ ceremony at the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple that day. ‘Setsubun is the day before the first day of spring in the Japanese calender. On this day the Japanese have the custom of throwing beans saying “In with fortune! Out with evil!”. Sort of a purification rite – something long overdue for me! Looking at the lunar landscape outside, my first thought was “What bad timing! Tomorrow’s supposed to be the first day of spring, and we have the first day of heavy snow!” But a man’s gotta go where a man’s gotta go. And so I went.
The Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is one of the most revered and old temples in Japan, celebrating its 1070th anniversary this year. To cut a long story short (I hope to write in detail about my experience there when I have more time), the ceremony was attended by all the top Sumo wrestlers and many Japanese movie/TV stars and I got a chance to rub shoulders with some real celebrities. The only personalities I knew were the two Yokozunos Asashuryo and Hakuho. I luckily managed to get a photo with one (with some beautiful ladies) while i just about managed a photo of the other.
So without further ado, here are the photos of that day.
PS The guy on the extreme left of the picture with Hakuho, dressed in some sort of Samurai-like get-up, that’s me. 🙂