I woke up and looked outside.
Sun was about to rise.
I quickly went to an open-air bath to wait for sunrise.
Today, it’s our lazy day because we don’t have a car to go out.
This isn’t my first trip to Izu during Year-End and New Year holidays.
The traffic in this area is terrible during holidays because there are many visitors/cars from Tokyo, but a road is narrow and there is only one lane!
Usually, it takes only 2.5 hrs for 160 km, but it will become 8 hr journey during holidays.
I tried three times/years and I gave up; it’s so tiring to drive 8 hrs alone! Sob sob.
This is why we don’t have a car.
There aren’t any places that we can go by foot in the area. Hummmm
Ate brunch at 8:30 am.
This is actually breakfast, but needed to eat for lunch as well because we cannot go out. hahaha
Our accommodation plan includes a complementary himono (local specialities, dried seafood) and a can of beer from Koshien (a store in front of Atagawa Station).
After breakfast, we made a brief trip to Atagawa Station by a hotel shuttle bus.
A shuttle bus meant to send off their hotel guests to a station, but simultaneously, a bus can send us to the station and take us back!
Yes, we managed to get aji no himono (dried horse mackerels) and beers.
That was the most active thing that we did today.
Other hours, dipped in onsen (hot springs: there are five different baths),
It is a custom to eat soba noodle on New Year’s Eve to wish for long (as soba) life.
After dinner, we have no choice, but to spend New Year’s Eve in very traditional way.
I’m watching Kohaku Utagassen (Red and White Singing Battle) on NHK.
Red Team (women singers) and White Team (men singers) compete their performances.
Every year, it starts at 7:15 pm and ends at 11:45 pm.
Then I plan to watch Yukutoshi Kurutoshi (Year Going, Year Coming) from 11:45 pm till midnight.
Temples gong a bell for 108 times to purify our 108 sins by midnight to welcome New Year.
We watch lives or listen to gongs throughout the nation for 15 mins.
These sounds are actually the countdown to welcome New Year.
The sound of gongs calm us to welcome New Year peacefully.
Another one hour to welcome 2017…