Again, this was an unexpected discovery. Zojoji Temple was only 10 minutes away from the Tokyo Tower after I followed some crowd. This was where I found out that the New Year was going to be celebrated here, 7 hours later.
There was nothing to see during the day as the locals were busy preparing the stalls and set ups for the New Year celebration so we left for Shinjuku and returned back to the temple around 9.00pm. In Shinjuku, we finished the Silent Hill arcade game for the second time.
Around Zojiji Temple (Day)
1. Jizo statues next to the cemetary
2. More Jizo statues
3. It was empty during the day.
Around Zojiji Temple (Night)
1. Entrance of Zojoji Temple, 3 hours prior to New Year
2. The crowd was swelling and my camera is bad at night shots to capture the people.
3. Some ritual prosession. The blurring thing behind the drummers IS NOT a ghost. My camera sucks, that’s all.
4. I tried to take a shot at the Tokyo Tower at night. I only got the 2008 sign.
I couldn’t penetrate deeper into the Temple. There was too many people trying to enter into the temple to pray for luck and practically, I was like trying to squeeze through multiple human walls to get there so I retreated for good. Food comes first, pray later.
Food, food, food
1. Yaki soba. This guy was going cheap on soy sauce, meat and veggies. All we had was coloured noodles.
2. Takoyaki. This is one of the best takoyakis I’ve tried so far.
4. Takoyaki was stuffed with a whole octopus, the most generous one of all.
5. Manjuu again. Queue was too long to buy and he’s too slow.
Yaki soba was a rip off and it cost us 500 yen each. Each stall’s queue was so long that it took us 30-40 minutes to buy our food. We abandoned the yakitori and ice cream stalls. Too popular.
There was a mochitsuki ceremony at the Zojoji Temple that night. Any one can join in and pound the mochi.
1. Dough was mixed and ready to be cooked
2. The dough was soaked and steamed
3. The steamed dough was placed into a mortar (usu) and pounded with a mallet.
4. Whack, whack, whack.
1. Massaging the mochi, oohhh…ahhh.
2. The pounded mochi was then sold with a few different paste: Red bean, in soup (salty not sweet) and peanut powder.
3. Peanet powder mochi, yumz and they pounded well.
(It was worth it celebrating New Year in Japan)
My mate wasn’t too happy with the New Year. He claimed that it wasn’t celebrated as grand as anywhere else. Of course he needed to gripe a little since he was conned by the disgusting 500 yen yaki soba.