Asakusa New Years Celebration
I decided to be in Asakusa for the big countdown last night, not only because I love spending New Year’s at the big Sensoji Temple, but also because I wanted to see the first official New Year’s light up of the Tokyo Skytree! The light up itself was nothing special but it was fun to be in the crowds as people started counting down. Two drunk young ladies to my back go the whole street chanting the countdown in unison, it must have been hundreds of people at that street corner watching together. After that I gave the whole lining up a miss, as there are tens of thousands of people jammed into a small street divided up into small packets of a hundred people or so, expertly led in a supremely organized fashion by a legion of police officers, all the way from the main gate, the Kaminarimon up to the temple itself. It was great fun to watch the organization, and how perfectly they managed to keep the order even under extreme circumstances like this! Asakusa is a fun place, as there’s still quite a few down to earth local families in the area you get a fair share of local kids having fun, like this young man who was suitably impressed by my camera rig and asked to be put in the newspaper, I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was only shooting for my little blog, but I hope he would approve of this cool shot of him! It’s rare to meet people like that, randomly in Tokyo, so although I am sure his friends were aghast at his lack of “cool”, I found him hilarious and super sweet!
Bigger temples and shrines like this have a great atmosphere all through the night, only tapering out at 5 in the morning, it’s almost like a regular summer festival, with food, tradesmen and sometimes performances.
Happy 2013, Good Riddance 2012, and happy new year of the snake everyone!