So Christmas passed by very quietly since it’s not that big of a deal here in Japan. Mainly it’s celebrated by eating a strawberry cake. On the other hand back in Sweden Christmas is a very big thing, specially the Christmas dinner.

This Christmas was however very different from what I have been used to. To begin with, due to the proposal to JAXA we were working on at the office, a meeting had been scheduled for the afternoon on Christmas eve. The meeting didn’t go on for too long though so in the early evening Karro and I were able to go to the local supermarket to buy food for our Christmas dinner. Non the wiser we were able to buy such a strawberry cake that is traditional for a Japanese Christmas dinner. This however we didn’t find out until a few days later. To this cake we had a nice bottle of bubbles.

For new years eve we had no idea what to do and we were not in a hurry to make any plans. In the end we decided to invite a colleague of mine who’s plans had fallen through at the last minute. So in a hurry we had to put together a new years eve dinner but we managed. It ended up being a great dinner and evening. So when the stroke of midnight arrived we celebrated and afterwards we went out to a local shrine just across the street from where I live.

At the shrine there was a bonfire and people came there to through stuff on the fire, and pray while the stuff burned. There are more pictures of this in the main gallery.
After having been at this shrine for a while we walked to a temple, also close by. People were burning stuff at this temple as well. But there was also bell-ringing going on. At this place there was a cave/tunnel in which there was a small shrine where one first gives a small money offering, then followed by ringing in a bell and finally clasping with the hands.
Though I have no idea what we made the offerings to or why. I just guess we’ll have to find out during 2015…